Acting Commissioner of Police Seelall Persaud on Friday urged 127 new police officers to follow a path of truth.
He made the call at their passing out parade at the Tactical Service Unit’s Drill Square, Eve Leary.
The graduating ranks are from the Recruit Course 28 ‘B’ from the Felix Austin College, Berbice, and Recruit Courses 315 and 316, respectively, from the Felix Austin College, Georgetown.
In addition to the new officers, 44 Special Constabulary ranks graduated from the Conversion Course No.1 of 2014 and 34 police officers completed the Probationers’ Final Training Course, No.1 of 2014, to mark the end of their two year probation.
Persaud told the graduates that they have moved from “civilian to a career as law enforcement officers” and that they should not “throw it away by forgetting the rules and procedures and, most importantly, your oath of office.”
He also informed them that they will be “in the public eye” and that every action they take will be subject to scrutiny. “It is just a fact of life from now on,” he opined. He stated that the way they carry themselves and how they carry out their responsibilities reflect on their families, the GPF and the communities that they will serve and protect. He further told the young officers that much will be expected of them, from those they serve “with a smile.” He said that though the expectation from the public will be high, “I am confident that you will meet them.”
The officers were told they will be the first line of defence for communities. “It is not us against them, while the public may take things personal,” Persaud stated. “Police officers follow a path of truth,” he added, while encouraging the young officers to seek out motivating co-workers.
Meanwhile, Force Training Officer, Senior Superintendent Paul Williams stated that the training of the 2014 recruits was done under the theme, “Training with the focus of maximising vision, skills and heart for enhancing leadership for a modern Guyana Police Force.”
According to Williams, the probation and conversion courses commenced on May 6 and ended on Friday, and both courses completed the same module that comprised 54 lectures. Lectures included topics such as addressing policing duties and procedures in keeping with the Laws of Guyana, Force Standing Orders, Common Law principles and practices, human rights in policing, community oriented policing, domestic violence and child abuse.
He said facilitators were drawn from various tertiary institutions and from the force. The external facilitators, he said, focused on stress and anger management, coping with change, motivation, communication and English language.
Recruits, he said, have completed six months of initial training. He said the objectives were transforming a recruit from a civilian-oriented posture to that of a vigilant, disciplined and community-oriented police rank. “I wish to emphasise to the graduates that the hallmark for their success in this job is to be committed, trustworthy, reliable, community oriented,” he told the new officers, while expressing his pride in them as the Force Training Officer.
Williams explained that according to the procedures of the force, a police officer will be confirmed after a two-year probationary period.
He further mentioned that the members of the special constabulary (an auxiliary arm of the force) in the Conversion Course were selected based on monitoring and appraisal. The last Conversion Course, he said, was in May, 2010.
Woman Inspector of Police J. Percival who gave a report on the Probation and Conversion courses, respectively, noted that the Colwyn Harding case was used to examine police communication. She further mentioned that among the other topics crime scene investigation was met with great enthusiasm.
The best graduating student from the Probationers’ Final Training Course, Constable 21167 Lyken, was presented with the Commissioner’s Baton of Honour. Special Constable Woman Police 14589 Jordan, won the best student award for the Conversion Course. The best graduating students from the three recruit courses were Constable 22195 Trotman, Constable 22279 Trotz and Woman Constable Dougan.