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Chairman of the Police Service Commission (PSC), Paul Slowe has given the Commissioner of Police (ag), Nigel Hoppie a 24-hour ultimatum, that should he fail to put the requisite systems in place for a Special Promotion Order to be issued, legal actions will be taken against him.
The Top Cop has until 12:00hrs today, Tuesday, July 6, 2021 to do so.
In a letter to the acting Police Commissioner on July 5, 2021, the Police Service Commission, which has been ‘suspended’ by President Irfaan Ali, said it transmitted the Guyana Police Force Official Promotions List on June 28,2021 detailing the names of ranks who have been promoted. The Office of the Commissioner of Police reported acknowledged receiving the promotion list on June 30, 2021, however, took no step to effect the promotion.
“Your action in not ensuring that the Special Promotion Order is prepared and published one week after receiving the promotion list from the Police Service Commission is interpreted by the Police Commission as you defying the legitimate action of the Police Service Commission in promoting ranks of the Guyana Police Force,” the Commission told Hoppie.
He was warned that legal actions would be taken, should he fail issue the Order. “Should you further delay to give effect to the promotions the Police Service Commission will be forced to take legal steps to command you to carry out your duties in relation to the promotions. We look forward to your response, and in any event, by no later than 12:00 p.m. on July 06, 2021,” the PSC warned.
In the letter, the Commission said the Police Commissioner is required to cause a Special Promotion Order to be prepared so that the promoted ranks and other members of the Force can be informed of the promotions. It was noted too that the Quartermaster also uses the Special Promotion Order to issue badges of rank to the newly promoted ranks.
Commissioner Hoppie was informed of the Commission’s decision not to acknowledge the “purported suspension” of its Chairman and Commissioners by President Ali on the grounds that it is unconstitutional and of no legal effect, and therefore the Commission will continue its work until the end of its term in August, 2021.
“This letter is to inform you that the Police Service Commission expects you to cause the Special
Promotions Order to be published forthwith, and that you give instructions to the Quartermaster to issue the newly promoted ranks with their badges of rank,” the PSC told the Police Commissioner.
The Top Cop was reminded of the need to lead by example and to carry out all legal instruction or directives and to disregard unlawful instructions or directives. “This principle is considered one of the hallmarks of good leadership,” the Commission posited.
Last week, the PSC, through its Legal Counsel Selwyn Pieters, informed President Ali that it will not heed to his suspension but would rather continue its work in keeping with its constitutional mandate on the grounds that the President’s decision is unconstitutional.
“…the members of the Commission have not been lawfully suspended from performing the functions of their offices and…will therefore continue to perform its constitutional mandate in respect to discipline and promotion of Guyana Police Force Officers from Inspectors to Assistant Commissioners,” Pieters informed the President.
On June 28, the Commission released its approved List of Police Promotions but the move was rejected by the Ali Administration. The Commission released the List moments after High Court dismissed an application which challenged the promotions.
The case – Calvin Brutus v the Police Service Commission – filed in December, 2020 had in effect barred the release of the List of Promotions, which was scheduled to be released on Old Year’s Night (2020), however, with the case dismissed, the Commissioned wasted no time in making the list public.
The list entails promotions for 132 ranks within the Guyana Police Force including the promotion of Senior Superintendents Ravindradat Budhram, Errol Watts, Wendell Blanhum, Edmond Cooper, Phillip Azore and Kurleigh Simon – to the Office of Assistant Commissioner of Police. Notably, Brutus and four other senior officers had challenged their exclusion from the list, and in doing so, sought to nullify the promotion of Cooper, Azore and Simon on the basis that they are facing disciplinary actions, however, Chief Justice (ag) Roxane George, in handing down her ruling, said there wasn’t sufficient evidence to substantial the claim made.
However, the Government, through the Attorney General Anil Nandlall rejected the List.