On Saturday, June 18, I saw a part of the programme ‘Law Enforcement and You’ on NCN, comprising a panel headed by Commander Vyphuis and other officers of the Guyana Police Force. In responding and addressing the question of conduct, how policemen/women ought to behave towards citizens, Commander Vyphuis said that he was very much concerned about the manners of members of the GPF and that he personally, at all times tries to instil in each and every new recruit who passed through his hands, and whenever he has to address recruits, the importance of being courteous. Good manners, he stressed, should be the hallmark of the GPF; the police should be respectful and polite even though they may have to charge someone. I totally endorse this comment and am quite sure that this is what the general public would like to see too. But, unfortunately, it is either that Commander Vyphuis had a very small number of recruits under his charge whom he schooled, or that they have neglected his teaching in this regard.
Commander Vyphuis doesn’t have to go anywhere for proof, nor does he needs any lesson in the general conduct of the many new recruits. The public bears witness every day to the unruly, uncouth, lewd, disrespectful, disgusting and commonplace behaviour that has come to exemplify the GPF – their trademark (especially those wearing black who drive around in open back pick-ups) – with the exception of a lonely few. It is regrettable that such civil lessons have fallen on deaf ears and are not heeded. You know, I have grown plenty weary in seeing TV programmes where various organizations/institutions outline and say great things about how they operate and their good intentions, when in fact it is nothing of the sort when you come in contact with them. One good thing about the programme is that it is good for the public to hear what is expected from members of the GPF – all the beautiful service that should be meted out to them.