Shortly after President Brig David A Granger became President of the Cooperative Republic of Guyana, to the surprise of many he announced that his vision was to establish a Public Service College to produce professional and unbribable public servants. Lawrence Paul was given the onerous task of putting systems in place to make this a reality. Very early he appeared to be slow marching, but he quickly changed into quick time. The rest is now history. Recently he graduated the first batch of students. President Granger delivered the feature address at the graduation. Another set of students is already in training.
This college has its parallel. I can recall in 1990 when Laurie Lewis took over the apex of management in the Guyana Police Force he visited Adventure in Region 6 where a police patrol base was established in 1973 for the opening for the Corentyne highway. He found a compound with some very old and dilapidated buildings and dense bush. He posited that he would do training at that location. Commander ‘B’ Division Winston Felix who was present, asked Commissioner Lewis if he was contemplating jungle training there. The Commissioner told him that he will establish the Felix Austin Police College ‘B’ Division there and that he will make it a place of excellence. Commissioner Lewis engaged members of the business community in Berbice who donated several million dollars in cash and building materials towards the establishment of the college. He called the engagement with the businessmen, Police in Active Association with members of the Community- PAAC. His success with PAAC led to the formation of IMPACT in Georgetown and in all other police divisions ‒ patrol bases designed to respond rapidly to serious crimes. I was taken off leave and like Lawrence Paul given the mandate to set up the college. I became its first Comman-dant. Commander Winston Felix played a critical role in the establishment of the college. At the opening ceremony for the training institution President Desmond Hoyte delivered the main address.
Since then the FAPC ‘B’ Division has become a place of excellence. It has produced several outstanding senior police officers including David Ramnarine, Act-ing Commissioner of Police; Ravindradat Budhram, Senior Superintendent, Com-mander ‘F’Division; Errol Watts Senior Superintendent, Guyana Police Force Projects Officer; Edmond Cooper, Senior Superintendent, Second in Command ‘B’ Division; Dion Moore, Superintendent, Traffic Officer; and Shivpersaud Bacchus, Superintendent, Commandant Felix Austin Police College, Georgetown. Simeon McBean quickly rose to the rank of Superintendent but his service was untimely and unfortunately abbreviated by the last government on his return to Guyana after he successfully completed a one year overseas scholarship in the United Kingdom.
Like the FAPC ‘B’ Division the Bertram Collins College of the Public Service will become a place of excellence. I listened carefully to Otto Vaughn the valedictor. He was awesome. It is an indication that a great amount of learning took place during training. The team of distinguished facilitators led by Lawrence Paul, Senior Director did a wonderful job. However, there must be sustainability. I did not look into the crystal ball but my vision like that of President Granger is that numerous outstanding professional public servants and great leaders will emerge from the college. It is just a matter of time. May God richly bless the Bertram Collins College of the Public Service.
Assistant Commissioner of