Police force explains withdrawal of support for police wives group

Following reports that it had locked out the Police Wives Association from police facilities, the Guyana Police Force today explained its actions.

Its press release follows.

Cognizant of articles published in the print media in relation to an alleged “rift” between the Guyana Police Force and the Guyana Police Wives’ Association, the Guyana Police Force states that while the Police Wives’ Association may have been in existence for some time, it was formalised in the year 2000 when it was registered under the Friendly Societies Act Ch. 36:04.

The Police Juliet Griffith Day Care Centre was established in 1994,which is six years prior to the formalisation of the Police Wives’ Association. It is resourced and managed by the Guyana Police Force with assistance from the Police Wives’ Association in an arrangement that provides for the most Senior Female Police Officer being responsible to the Commissioner of Police for the operations of the Day Care Centre. This arrangement is continuing.

The Guyana Police Force holds an Annual Youth Camp for children under the auspices of the Police Wives’ Association. In this arrangement, it is the Guyana Police Force that mobilises resources with planning and management inputs coming from the Police Wives’ Association.

The Constitution of the Guyana Police Wives’ Association was amended in 2010, and among other things it catered for:
1. Membership shall be open to all wives of policemen in active service, retired or deceased, and policewomen in active service or retired who are interested in the work of the Association and would like to offer voluntary service for the upliftment of the Association.
2. The wife of the Commissioner of Police in active service shall be Patron and an Ex- Officio Officer.
3. The Patron, Chairman, Vice Chairman, Secretary, Treasurer, Assistant Secretary/Treasurer and five (5) other members must be policewomen, or wives of policemen, and they shall form the Executive Committee.

The members of the Executive Committee must be selected from among the members of the Association and the Patron chairs meetings of the Executive Committee.

Following the demitting of Office by former Commissioner Mr. Leroy Brumell, DSM, there were some issues regarding the Patron and Ex-Officio Officer of the Association. These issues have caused the Guyana Police Force to review its participation with the Police Wives’ Association.

The review found that the Executive Committee of the Police Wives’ Association consisted of persons among whom were not the wives of serving, retired or deceased members of the Police Force, with the exception of a Police Sergeant who is the Treasurer, and another who is the wife of a serving officer.

It should be noted that there are persons on the Executive Committee who are not members of the Force nor the wives of serving, retired or deceased members of the Force, and ought not to have been members of the Police Wives’ Association in the first place, and therefore their presence on the Executive Committee is in breach of the Constitution.

In contemporary times, the Association has not contributed anything tangible with regards to the Police Day Care Centre nor the serving husbands within the Police Force.

Similarly it has not done anything tangible regarding any of its objectives.

It is felt that the current composition of the Executive Body does not allow for the interests of the Force to be represented or advanced, regarding its objectives.

Consultations with the Ministry of Labour, Human Services and Social Security have revealed that the Association has not met its legal requirements under the Act since 2007, in that audited financial statements have not been submitted.

Consequently the Force Administration, through the most Senior Female Officer, attempted to encourage the Executive Body to hold an Annual General Meeting under the Constitution that provides for the election of Office Bearers.

The Executive Body initially agreed, but thereafter bluntly refused and from all indications the ensuing communications smacked of disrespect for the Senior Female Police Officer and other female members of the Force who were engaged in the discussions.

The Guyana Police Force then took a decision to withdraw its support to the Police Wives’ Association.

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