As the President and most of the senior ministers of the government frolicked at taxpayers‘ expense in New York City, the Police Force has hit a critical low in its 172-year history. It is said that President Harry Truman kept a plaque on his desk that read “The buck stops here” accepting full responsibility as leader of his nation. In Guyana, sadly we have no Harry Trumans. What we have is a President who shows a callous disregard for the security of the nation, and a police chief who serves at the pleasure of the said President, even though he has lost the confidence of the nation. In any other country in the world the President would have called for the resignation of the police chief.
This Commissioner of Police has been embroiled in scandal from his first day in office; his US visa was revoked, and his men have been accused and/or convicted of all sorts of banditry, including. Yet there have been no task forces, no commissions of inquiry, no police reviews, no recommendations – nothing. Instead it has been business as usual.
When a Divisional Commander makes allegations against fellow senior officers, including the personal assistant to the Commissioner and a top officer in the Tactical Services Unit, we should expect nothing less but an immediate inquiry into these allegations by an agency other than the police force. We expect that these officers would be placed on administrative leave or reassigned to desk duties until cleared of any wrongdoing.
Editor, what is telling in this sordid episode is that the revelations made by Assistant Commissioner Merai were already public knowledge. If reports of the meeting are to be believed, Steve Merai confronted his boss in an accusatory tone. There are so many questions here that beg for further investigations by the independent media and a private non-governmental agency. What will it take for the Police Commissioner to be retired? What will it take for the people to get the service and protection for which their tax dollars pay?
The good and professional members of the force who risk their lives and go to work every day, and struggle with issues of law and order, even though they are underpaid and poorly led, deserve better. This administration has failed to keep us safe, the primary goal of every government. If Mr Henry Greene remains as Commissioner of Police, and there is no immediate effort by this PPP regime to implement the reforms that are necessary to weed out the bad cops, and transform the entire force, then we the people will have to fire this government.
We have complained, we have begged and still nothing is done; no one takes responsibility for anything. This government was hired by the people 19 years ago and has consistently underperformed. It is time for us to send them packing.