Retired Brigadier David Granger raised important issues in his interview

Dear Editor,

Oh, what a timely article. I refer to an article published in your Monday, November 12, 2007 edition where an interview was done with retired chief of staff of the Guyana Defence Force Brigadier David Granger. The information and issues provided in that interview were timely.

I refer to the article as timely and informative as it takes an individual with past knowledge and vast experience to bring to the public the shortcomings of the security forces and the authorities in combating crime in Guyana. I had raised some of these issues in a previous letter which was not published.

Permit me to comment on some of the issues raised in the interview:

(a) the issue of Commissioner (acting) Henry Greene who was accused by the United States government of profiting from the drug trade and had his United States visas revoked while he still serves as head of the Guyana Police Force is still being debated by Guyanese at home and abroad as to what the President has to tell the nation with regard to the allegations made by the US about Mr Greene.

(b) the training of recruits at the Felix Austin College at Eve Leary. I agree with Mr. Granger in highlighting this subject as only last week in an article I wrote in connection with the “stop and search” by police ranks I questioned the type of training afforded these recruits at the police training school, whether it was to champion the cause of combating crime in a professional manner or whether they are taught to shoot to kill sheltering under the umbrellas of the authorities that govern them. The training of police officers now more than ever needs critical re-examination for them to perform professionally and for the good of our citizens.

(c) most importantly our borders. The government of the day needs to focus seriously on protecting our borders to avoid the illegal shipment of drugs, guns and ammunition. The security forces must be furnished with the necessary resources to combat criminal elements and activities within our shores and borders. What we need is a camp at the borders and access to a marine division that is alert within the police and defence force in the form of coast guard operations to frequent our waters and borders to prevent the illegal drugs and guns from entering our shores and the pirate activities from harming our fishermen. This operation should be continuous so that we can enjoy a decrease in crime. We do not need a camp in Buxton. As long as we can control and protect our borders from criminal elements, we would see stability in Buxton and other troubled areas.

Yours faithfully,

Debra Jeffers

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