Minister rejected free air time offered by CNS Channel 6 to help police and Community Policing Groups

Dear Editor,
Politics continues to play a role in every decision made in this country. I, CN Sharma, attended a community policing group symposium on Thursday March 12, 2009 at St Stanislaus College, and as a former chairman of the ‘A’ Division Community Policing Group where I served for many years, I was shocked at Minister of Home Affairs Clement Rohee’s response to statements I made.

When the floor was opened for advice and questions, I invited the head table − the Minister and Commissioner of Police Henry Greene − to use my television station as a medium to seek public consultations and discuss matters to help the Guyana Police Force and Community Policing Groups reduce crime in our society. Minister Rohee’s response was that the government’s position was not to allow officials to use CNS 6 television station but instead to use the National Communications Network (NCN) station which has wider coverage.

This I find very undemocratic, since television air time is very costly, and the free air time offered by CNS 6 was turned down by this regime which prefers to use taxpayers’ money to reach out to the public on matters affecting the society.

Another question I raised is what security was in place for Community Policing Group members when on patrol, and the Minister’s response was that only sworn rural constables would be protected under the Police Act, and not unauthorized persons.

My offer is still open to the government and the management of the Guyana Police Force for the utilization of CNS 6 studio and air time at no cost to help in the fight to reduce crime in Guyana. Crime concerns every citizen of this country, and therefore I urge all to be involved in these Community Policing Groups.
Yours faithfully,
Chandranarine Sharma
Former Chairman ‘A’ Division
Community Policing Group
Managing Director of CNS 6

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