Support Village Voice News With a Donation of Your Choice.
-President Ali tells police force
By Svetlana Marshall
President Irfaan Ali, during the opening ceremony of the Guyana Police Force’s Annual Officers’ Conference, challenged the officers to help repair organisation’s image and advance its programmes for the safety and security of Guyana with a single vision.
In a blistering address to the officers on Thursday at the National Cultural Centre, the Head of State said it is time for the Police Force to reposition and restructure itself into an organisation that commands the respect of all Guyanese.
“In restructuring, the goal has to be efficiency, effectiveness, responsiveness, and it requires clarity of vision. Not mixture of vision. No individual or group is running a separate arm of the Force, there must be one common vision. One approach; a singular approach, that is only confined to service to the people,” President Ali said.
His admonishment comes at a time when the clearly divided Guyana Police Force is marred by allegations of corruption and ‘political witch-hunting.’
Cognizant of the prevailing circumstances the Head of State challenged the Force to examine its strengths, weaknesses and each of the contributing factors, as it repositions and restructures itself in an effort to meet its objectives.
However, he iterated the need for a single vision. “The clarity of vision, the clarity of purpose, the clarity of action, this is what leads to effective policing,” he posited while noting that based on his assessment, many officers have a different understanding of what the Force’s vision is.
Further he said while structure is critical, brand is equally important.
“You can have the best structure but the worse brand,” President Ali told the Police Officers. He explained that while the Guyana Police Force is made up of talented, highly qualified and skilled officers, there are attempts to besmirch the good name of the Force. As such, he said even as the Force repositions and restructures itself, it must also rebrand and that brand must be protected.
“We cannot just build the brand. We cannot just develop the brand; market the brand then leave it on a throne. We have a duty and responsibility to protect the brand when we build the brand. We see daily assault on the brand; daily assault on the brand. I don’t care, where the assault comes from, we have a duty and a responsibility to protect and defend the brand once the brand is operating in the framework it is designed to operate in,” the Head of State told the officers.
He said each officer has a duty to do good and add value to the Force by employing SMART policing through the utilization of ‘Systems, Manpower, Attitude, Reliability and Technology.’
President Ali also underscored the need to strengthen the capacity of the Police Force at the level of the regions.
“We spoke at length about regionalization, strengthening regional capacity, decentralization, greater empowerment at the regional level and community level, integration of other organisations within the regions themselves, building regional intelligence apparatus, making regional command and regional management more accountable. So we have to look at regionalization, specialized units in every region,” he said, while offering his continuous support.
The opening ceremony of the Annual Police Officers’ Conference was attended by Prime Minister Mark Phillips, Minister of Home Affairs, Robeson Benn and Acting Commissioner of Police Nigel Hoppie among other high-level security officials including those from the Guyana Defence Force.
The conference, which opened on Thursday, will conclude on Saturday after much introspection, deliberation and planning. It is being held under the theme “Enhancing Professionalism, Police Community Relations and Confidence through Continuous Security Sector Reform and Partnerships”.