Amidst all the criticisms being levelled at the Guyana Police Force, there is a proud picture of our local 27-member SWAT team in the making on the front page of at least two daily newspapers that I read on February 7.
Almost instantaneously the differing and mired gazes of everyone in that picture inspired a thousand caricatures, and then I found myself having to question the tactical merit of this display.
Surely it cannot be one of intimidation. I can visualize criminals passing the picture around and having quite a laugh at the apparent fitness condition, or rather the lack thereof, of some of the officers. Then I entertained the balanced view that they have only now started the SWAT training.
But even so, would we want the identities of our only SWAT team to be so public? To complement the picture, names were also published. I refuse to believe that our police and our Ministry of Home Affairs would be so recklessly misguided.
Then, another thought entered my mind, and it may have had something to do with the optimistic grin of our Minister. I reasoned that this picture was posted so that it can misinform criminal masterminds. I must be right! This way the real SWATs can still benefit from the element of surprise and retain the secrecy of their identities which is also important for the safety of their families. It must be quite a plan based on the principle of grand detraction, which is why I am not going to say anything further, lest I compromise the intention. I am happy that my impression of our security forces as being at the shallow end of the pool of competency, tactics and strategy has been challenged. Like many other Guyanese, I feel so much safer.
Jaguar paw salute
Arun Sudesh Richard