Assistant Commissioner of Police Clifton Hicken on Friday urged one hundred and thirty three new policemen and women to use their leisure time to engage their prospective communities and to stay out of trouble.
He was at the time delivering the feature address for the passing out parade held for recruit courses 361, 362, 35 ‘B’ (1) and 13 ‘G’ at the Police Officers’ Training Centre, Eve Leary. The courses were held under the theme “Forging ahead with professionalism and intelligence-led policing in the collaboration with stakeholders.”
Hicken urged the graduates to take off their armour and create a friendly atmosphere so that members of the public will be willing to interact with them. “Police must know,” he said while reminding them that questions will be asked and they will have to give guidance and directions.
“You are the broader prospect of this pyramid and you are the people who supposed to be the catalyst for change, who are moving in the 21st century, who are maintaining professionalism, who are speaking in a language that is coming from the mission statement, who the Guyana Police Force can be proud of,” Hicken said.
“Read as much as you can, learn the laws of your country, read your standing orders, read your policies, especially the Police Discipline Act, so that if you are to commit yourself there is a redress,” he added.
The courses commenced on June 21. During the training period, the ranks were exposed to areas such as traffic, crime, anger management, English language, domestic violence, human rights, communication and gender/social service delivery. They also learnt the basics of administering first aid in case of an emergency.
The Assistant Commissioner reminded the new ranks that they will be exposed to challenges every day, and they should put their training into practice to get their job done. “You are young and like us you will grow with experience…What is important though is that you take all that you have learnt in the training school and put them into practice,” he said.
He told the ranks that the decision making process must be in keeping with the mission statement of the Guyana Police Force while reminding them that the force has a structured mechanism that deals with mentorship so they won’t be unsupervised at any time.
He explained to the new lawmen and women that the demands on policing are increasing.
Hicken warned the ranks of the bad images that the force has been facing recently due to misconduct and urged them not to get involved. “Policing is not just confined to the laws of Guyana…you are the peacemakers, you are to solve problems, you are to get in the communities, interact with people, identify problems before it escalates, you are to identify problems so that we can be intel driven,” he said.
“Temptations out there will be great but you need to remember that you cannot be a police and be on the other side at the same time,” he warned the ranks.
With the new implementation of the 911 emergency system, the expectations of the public are higher, he said. “Communities out there, the people out there, general public, they are expecting that whenever there is a phone call, within three minutes, four minutes the police will respond,” he said. This is a work in process, he noted.
“In the interim, you the police on the road that interact with the people need to ensure that you maintain a relationship, a professional one. You must not be tempted at any time to do something wrong,” he urged.
Hicken reminded the new cops that “policing is like training; it never ends. You learn something new every day.” He said because of this there are laws, polices and other documents supporting the policies to ensure that there is a professional code of conducts and it is maintained at all times.
Those who were awarded best students were Constable 24683 Campbell, Constable 24447 Grahame, Constable 24425 Clark, Constable 24471 Kennedy and Constable 24496 Sertimer.
The new recruits during the passing out parade (DPI photo)