In law enforcement, the only real power comes from the strength of the system. The Guyana Police Force will only be strong if the system is allowed to function. President Granger’s instruction to the Police Service Commission did nothing but weaken the system, and he must be held accountable for the destruction of any green shoot of hope for that institution. There are clear procedures in the law if an officer is found to be corrupt, indisciplined or out of order. The law sets out that a tribunal can be established to investigate the allegations and disciplinary action can be taken.
But Article 212 of the Guyana Constitution clearly articulates that “… the power to make appointments to any office in the Police Force above the rank of Inspector…” resides with the Police Service Commission, not the President. So any rookie lawyer can advise that the President’s action violated the constitution, was high-handed and did great harm to the Guyana Police Force.
When good policemen cannot believe any more that the system has their back so that they can do their work, and they come under political pressure, then they have two choices – become corrupt or leave the system. Both options bring great harm to the institutions of the state.
But more importantly Mr Omesh Satyanand, the now departed Chairman of the Police Service Commission should have clothed himself and his fellow members with the rule of law; instead they buckled to political bullyism which is now the raison d’être of President Granger’s administration.
There go the crime-fighting capabilities of the Guyana Police Force thanks to President Granger himself.