‘A cynical exercise designed to haemorrhage public confidence in the Police Force’

Dear Editor,

The Guyana Police Association has duly noted the flash gun that has momentarily illuminated, albeit in the media, perceptions and assumptions in a cynical exercise to haemorrhage public confidence in the Force by the supposed animated and reckless ramblings and orations allegedly by a senior functionary of the Guyana Police Force.

The Police Association views this ultra aggressive posture as an affront to good military discipline and professionalism and expresses its abhorrence of this excursion which points to a gulf between rhetoric and reality and which borders on the abdication of responsibility by the refractory officer so named in the press.

The Association expresses the view that actions propagated to undermine authority will ultimately sow the seeds of dissatisfaction and disunity among members of the Force which does not augur well for cohesion in pursuit of law-enforcement responsibilities.

Further the Association questions the modus vivendi and ulterior motives which have seen articles on Sunday August 14, 2011, in the Kaieteur News purportedly emanating from a meeting chaired by the Commissioner of Police. This article is compounded by subsequent articles in the Kaieteur News on Monday August 15, Tuesday August 16, and on Wednesday August 17, 2011, which was under the caption ‘Black clothes police running drug blocks – AC Merai tells fiery admin meeting‘ and authored by reporter Dale Andrews.

The Association has noted the inexorable innuendos which have placed policemen and women among the lumpen and have brought the organization into disrepute, stereotyping ranks who are engaged in risking their lives daily for the public good.

The Association has taken an incisive look at a letter to the editor of the Kaieteur News by Godfrey Skeete published on August 17, under the caption ‘Greene has been covering up the corruption of his officers for too long,’ and has opined that Mr Skeete is gripped with amnesia as the Commissioner has addressed the scourge of corruption in his capacity, resulting in deviant members being prosecuted and arraigned before the courts.

In addition, as an organization with huge powers in which the public places enormous trust, the Force is governed by a strong code of ethics and professional conduct.

Further policemen/women are indoctrinated to follow directions from their superior officers, which ensures discipline and uniformity so that tasks are carried out in a very objective, expeditious and efficient manner.  Personality differences, conflicting opinions, egotism and bigotry are unacceptable.

The Association therefore calls on all ranks to be professional, to obey the rule of law, be responsive and respectful across social divides, to insulate themselves from illegitimate outside interference, and to deliver good policing services to the community, adhering to all orders issued by the Commissioner of Police who under the Police Act Chapter 16:01 is solely responsible for the superintendence of the Force.

While the Police Association is mandated under Sections 50 and 51 of the Police Act Chapter 16:01 to represent ranks from constable to chief inspector, the Association feels compelled and obligated to attend to any issue which affects the Force and is in the domain of the public and is of national concern. Finally the Association wishes to remind ranks that they are not immune from disciplinary action, and that the divulging of information without proper authority is a breach of Force Standing Orders and Public Service Regulations.

An ideal policeman/ woman must be educated in the law, dispense even-handed justice, stand secure against corruption, impulses of unprofessional behaviour and bigotry, and commit him/her self to the preservation of law and order as an effective social arbiter, being mindful that all complaints and allegations must be properly investigated with due regard to the law of evidence and referred to the Director of Public Prosecution for advice where necessary.

The Guyana Police Association wishes to assure the general public that any alleged indiscipline, criminal misconduct and/or association with criminal enterprise by members of the Force will be dealt with condignly by the Commissioner and his management team.

Yours faithfully,
Ivelaw Whittaker
For Inspector Amanda
Hermonstine
Chairperson Guyana
Police Association

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