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I read with great pleasure an article in Kaieteur News, February 16, 2022 under the caption, ” Paul Williams DSM is the next senior ranking officer and most suitable to be the next Top Cop.”
It was apparently the wishes of Seniors, junior ranks of the GPF. The main thrust of the article was that Paul Williams should be the next Commissioner of Police. I hasten to endorse that view.
I know Paul Williams since he was in training as a police recruit. While in training he displayed tremendous potentials for growth and development. He did not disappoint. I vividly recall him successfully completing the GPF One- year Special Prosecutors’ Course conducted by the GPF and the University of Guyana. He later attended the University of Guyana and graduated with a Diploma in Public Management. He did not stop there. He obtained a Law Degree at the said institution and successfully completed a Post Graduate Diploma in Legislative Interpretation and Drafting under the auspices of the University of Guyana, the University of the West Indies and the European Union. He has a Masters Degree in Criminal Justice and is on the final lap in obtaining a Doctorate in International Relations. Paul Williams successfully completed numerous courses and seminars at the Felix Austin Police College and elsewhere. He held several prestigous and command positions in the GPF including Force Training Officer, Commander B Division, Deputy Commissioner Law Enforcement and Deputy Commissioner Administration. On a few occasions he acted as Commissioner in the absence from Guyana of Commissioner, Leslie James.
The vexed question is who will be the next Commissioner of Police? Section 211 (1) of the Constitution of the Cooperative Republic of Guyan states, ” The Commissioner of Police and every Deputy Commissioner of Police shall be appointed by the President acting after meaningful consultation with the Leader of the Opposition and Chairperson of the Police Service Commission after the Chairperson has consulted with other members of the Commission.” It is pellucid that the power to appoint a Commissioner and Deputies lies with the President. He does not have to get an agreement with the Leader of the Opposition as is the case to appoint the Chancellor and the Chief Justice.
When Nigel Hoppie proceeds on leave prior to retirement which may be soon, someone will have to be appointed to act as Commissioner of Police. According to the Public Service Rules the next senior person must act, but Paul Williams who is the next senior Deputy Commissioner may not be given the right to act as persons in authority have flagrantly violated the letter, spirit and intent of some of the most sacrosanct constitutional procedures, therefore it would not be surprising if the Public Service Rules is totally disregarded and a junour and incompetent person is appointed to act as Commissioner. Dr. Peter Principle will continue to prevail.
Based on unfounded allegations made by Assistant Commissioner Clifton Hicken and Senior Superintendent Fizal Karimbaksh, Paul Willians while serving as Deputy Commissioner Administration was sent on accumulated leave. At the end of the leave he was posted to the Civil Defence Commission.
That decision was rescinded by the Prime Minister after he realised that in accordance with the Joint Services Protocals, Paul Williams is senior to Kester Craig the Head of the Commission. However, he assigned Paul Williams to work under his equal, Colonel Hussain at the Covid-19 Secretariat. It is apposite to note that presently at the Covid-19 Secretariat there are a Deputy Commissioner, an Assistant Commissioner and a Superintendent among other police ranks that are performing duties there. I understand that they are very busy checking Covid-19 deaths and confirmed cases.
A substantial Commissioner cannot be appointed until Hoppie demits office at the end of December 2022. There are several issues and concerns facing the President in the appointment of a Commissioner. They include: politics, human rights violations, leadership, a tactical or strategic commissioner, money laundering, drug trafficking, corruption, diplomatic – remember when Floyd Mc Donald was appointed Commissioner the United States of America Embassy in Guyana cancelled his visa and with the appointment of Henry Greene the Embassy did likewise. It is suspected that if a certain contender is appointed Commissioner he may suffer the same consequence as that of Mc Donald and Greene.
Emerging recently is also a birth certificate issue with one of the aspirants for the post of Top Cop. Unconfirmed information is that an active Army Colonel was interviewed for the post, but he is not too keen of accepting the appointment. He is of the opinion that the ” Gang of Five ” that is undermining Hoppie with the support from Home Affairs will do likewise to him and caused him to be ineffective as a Commissioner. An Army Colonel as Head of the GPF is nothing new. Before independence thirteen Army Colonels served as Commissioners of Police. Also, do not be surprised if there is a Bernard Kerik or a Bobb Bratton contracted as a Security Advisor.
Looking at all the aspirants i am of the opinion that Paul Williams is a fit and proper person to be appointed the next Commissioner of Police. He is not a paragon of virtue. Who is? He is more academically and professionally qualified and senior to the other contenders. He has clean hands, a warm heart, a cool head and a passion for the job and God. No one knows the police aspriants more than i do. Therefore, i am qualified to judge them. Paul Slowe, my co accused will get the silver medal. However, i am just a humble retired Assistant Commissioner of Police positing some simple views in the interest of law enforcement. The authority to appoint a Commissioner rests solely with the President.
May God bless the Guyana Police Force.
Assistant Commissioner of Police