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Recently I wrote a letter to the editor which was published in the Stabroek and Kaiteur News. I commented on the two elections that were held on the same day for the chairman and members of the Police Association. Two seperate groups of ranks were elected to serve in the same capacity.
Inspectors Prem Narine and Roseann Forde were elected as chairpersons. I posited that the process that elected Prem Narine massively violated the Laws of Guyana and the Police Standing Orders in a transparent way that the election should be null and void. I called for new election. Since then, I have not found any evidence that will cause me to change my views of the illegal elections. However, an article in Stabroek News dated Saturday May 29, 2021 under the caption ” Brutus says police association election was legitimately held, ” gave me a mental shock, but I am not mentally lazy. Therefore, it would be remiss of me if I do not comment on the missive. The article is riddled with irregularties, inconsistencies and fabrications.It is a horrible attempt to mislead the readers.
I am happy that during the interview Snr. Supt. Brutus quoted extensively from the Police Act Chapter 16:01and moreso the Police Standing Orders number 35. I am aufait with the Police Act and more particularily the Police Standing Orders. You may recall that Commissioner of Police, Leslie James selected myself and a team of retired, experienced and knowledgable senior police officers under the dynamic leadership of Paul Slowe who is like myself is a graduate of the Federal Bureau of Investigation National Academy. We are still in cantact with that world class law enforcement body. We reviewed the Standing Orders utilising our over one hundred and seventy five combined years of experience, expertise, knowledge and international best practices. We were rewarded for our excellent work with phantom charges. Yes, the present Standing Orders which was not reviewed and documented for years stated that elections for the Police Association must be held once per year. If Brutus had done a bit of research he would have found out that Commissioner Laurie Lewis with the approval of Minister of Home Affairs, Ronald Gagraj ammended the Standing Orders for the election of office bearers of the Police Association to be held every three years instead of yearly. I am aware of this, as I was part of the decision making process.This was in compliance with section 44 of the Police Act Chapter 16:01. Subsequent Commissioners, Floyd McDonald, Winston Felix, Henry Greene, Leroy Brummel, Sealall Persaud and Leslie James all accepted the status quo. However, a Senior Superintendent named Calvin Brutus unlawfully changed that status quo. Election was not held on a yearly basis since Commissioner Lewis ammended the Standing Orders. Some elected chairmen served in excess of three years without any new election be held every year.
Brutus submitted that his only interaction with the election was to be present, to perform his function. He skillfully did not mention what was his function. Let me tell you what it was. His function was that of a self-appointed returning officer.
Brutus stated that a Force Orders was published for the information of all ranks and each rank received a copy of the Force Orders in relation to the election of the Police Association. This is far from the truth. My research revealed that prior to the illegal election no Force Order was published for the information of all the ranks. The Regional Commanders and Department Heads did not see the Force Orders prior to the election. As a result they could not have informed the ranks of the election and conduct voters education for them. Contrary to what Brutus explained each rank does not receive a copy of the Force Orders. The Force Orders is done electronically and sent to Regional Commanders and Department Heads who are required to put systems in place for the information contained in the Force Orders and other issues and concerns to be discussed at stations and offices with ranks under their control at what is known as Instruction Class. This is seldom done, so most ranks are not aware of the Force Orders. Scores of ranks particularly those in the interior and other locations have challenges with internet connectivity. In the past there was a system whereby hard copies of the Force Orders were sent to each police stations and offices but not as Brutus alleged that each rank received a copy. The process of sending out hard copies stopped a long time ago as there are some serious problems at the Police Copying Center at Eve Leary. This was discussed at the Police Officers’ Annual Conference 2021. The situation has not improved since then. An electronic copy of the Force Orders is also sent to the Police Service Commission. I make it my duty to read the Force Orders. I did not see any Force Orders relating to the election of the Police Association prior to the election nor thereafter.
According to Brutus in relation to the election, he followed the Standing Orders step by step. This is complete inaccuracy and total distortion of facts. He had several mis-steps. He moved the election process from ground zero to the apex in one Tarzan leap, thus bypassing all the established steps required to be taken before and on E Day. Let me explain. The arrangements for voting is enshrined in th Police Standing Orders number 35. Sections 2, 3, 4 (a), (b) (c), (d) and(e), 5 (a), (b), (c)and (d), 6 and 7 (a) – (l) -the rules for procedure at meetings of branch boards, central confrence and the central committee were totally disregarded by Brutus. Space does not permit me to go into details of each section but they clearly state what steps must be followed before, during and after election and who must be involved. Not a one man show as was done by Brutus.The various sections speak about ballot boxes to be sent to all the divisions and branches, security and movement of such boxes, election materials, who is empowered to open the boxes, counting of votes, roles of Division Commanders, Officer in charge of the Tactical Services Unit, Second in Command of Administration, the Branch Board, Central Conference, the Central Committee the Force Training Officer and many other directions. None of them came into play. What Brutus did was to send a correspondence to the Regional Commanders and some Department Heads for delegates to attend the illegal election without first complying with the established foundation to be laid before the election is held. He then as the self appointed returning officer conducted the election which was rigged. Believe me when I say that I have documentery and other credible evidence to show that the two elections were unlawful.
Brutus stated that he wrote Commissioner (ag) Nigel Hoppie seeking his advice on the way forward to hold the election. What he did not say is that Hoppie did not approve the holding of election because the next election was legally due in March, 2023. Brutus then went on to hold the illegal election with him serving as self elected returning officer. This caused Hoppie to order Roseann Forde to hold an election the same day. He also detailed Deputy Superintendent Richard Emptage to serve as returning officer which he did. It is apposite to note that the very next day Brutus then realised that Emptage had passed the age of employment in the Special Constabulary where was employed and he sent him a letter terminating his service. He replaced him with Assistant Superintendent John Singh. John Singh has not yet taken up the posting.
The vexed question is why did Hoppie vitiated both elections including the one he ordered Forde to conduct and the next day directed that the one that elected Prime Narine was legal. Believe it or not, Hoppie was directed by his political bosses to do so. Hoppie is in a unsafe position. He is not acting as Commissioner of Police. He is performing the duties of the COP. He was not given the instrument to act. He is surounded by some senior police officers who are dangerously ambitious and politically inclined. They are all aspirants. They are all aspiring to be appointed as the next Commissioner of Police in a hurry. Hoppie is not being paid an acting allowance. Hoppie wants to be confirmed as Commissiponer. This is natural. Who in the GPF does not want to become Commissioner? However, Hoppie is afraid to rock the boat as his very survival depends on it being kept afloat and in calm waters. He is afraid that if he stands up like a real man the movers and shakers of the Force will send him on leave and appoint Assistant Commissioner Clifton Hicken who also has a large amount of leave or one of the dark horses to act or even confirmed as Commissioner. Remember the appointment of Commissioner or Deputy Commissioner lies with the President and no one else. That will be the end of Hoppie’s career in the Force. He will retire as a Deputy Commissioner. Hoppie is my friend
He is a honest police officer. I wish him and his family well.
I remember that Deputy Commissioner Maxine Grahame acted as Commissioner for less than a week when Commissioner Leslie James went overseas on duty. You want to hear something? She was given the instrument to act. She became the first and only female to act as Commissioner in the Guyana Police Force. She has since framed that instrument. It is hanging proudly in her home.
I agree with what the Caribbean Federation of Police Welfare Association ( CFPWA) wrote, ” It is our view that this level of skullduggery and high – handed action by the administration of the Police Service is designed to the determent of the legitimately body led by Inspector Roseanne Forde. ” CFPWA further demanded that the election of the association must be free, fair, and transparent in keeping with the prescribed rules.
There is a hidden agenda for the installment of a fradulent Police Association. Information got out that the Police Association under the chairmanship of Inspector Roseann Forde was planning to nominate all the present members of the Police Service Commission to serve a second term. Brutus and team heard about this. They decided to put persons in place at the Police Association who they can control. The objective is to get their hand picked people on the Police Association who will nominate persons favourable to them to be members of the Police Service Commission when the next one is installed. Names are in circulation, including a former Minister of Home Affairs to be chairman of the Commission. Would that be political? In return the new Police Service Commission is expected be favourable to them in terms of promotion and other benifits. You help me. I help you. Hand wash hand, mek hand come clean. Wow!
In conclusion, let me be pellucid and reiterate that the two elections conducted by the police were unconstitutional and have struck at the very root of democracy. The elections were not free, fair and transparent. Hundreds of policemen were disenfrancised in the election process conducted by Brutus.They did not get the lawful opportunity to select persons of their choice to be nominated to represent them as members of the Police Association. The Police Act Chapter 16:01 and the Police Standing Orders number 35 in relation to the process of electing officer bearers for the Police Association were massively violated in a transparent way. The elections must be decleared null and void. New election must be held in accordance with the Police Act Chapter 16:01 and the Police Standing Orders number 35. I rest my case.
To God be the glory.
Assistant Commissioner of Police