GPF, UG sign MoA to refine, develop new programmes for members of force

The Guyana Police Force (GPF) on Thursday signed an important and historic Memorandum of Agreement (MoA) with the University of Guyana (UG) to refine existing programmes and develop new ones that specifically cater for members of the Force.

Acting Deputy Police Commissioner with responsibility for administration, Calvin Brutus and UG’s Vice Chancellor, Professor Dr Paloma Mohamed-Martin after the signing of the MoA

The MoA was signed during a simple ceremony held at the University’s Turkeyen Campus. Acting Deputy Police Commissioner with responsibility for administration, Calvin Brutus and UG’s Vice Chancellor, Professor Dr Paloma Mohamed-Martin signed the MoA, which was finalised after much discussion and deliberation from both parties.

Acting Deputy Police Commissioner with responsibility for administration, Calvin Brutus and UG’s Vice Chancellor, Professor Dr Paloma Mohamed-Martin along with other officials

The MoA underscores the GPF’s continuous and unwavering support and show of commitment to the development of its ranks through education and training.
Brutus, in brief remarks, said the signing of the MoA marked a very significant moment in our country’s history as it was the first of its kind between the GPF and UG.
The MoA is scheduled to last for a period of five years, with the option of renewal. According to Brutus, this MoA came about owing to “the need for us to develop modules for our Policemen and women, to ensure that we deliver on our mandate in keeping with contemporary best practices for the Police in our country”.
He also alluded to Guyana’s globally recognised and blossoming oil and gas industry, which has made critical the need for us to have an educated and much better-equipped Police Force to meet the myriad challenges that will come along with rapid development, infrastructural expansion, and the influx of investors and new businesses.
He pointed out that the anticipated expansion of our population was expected to bring new challenges for the Police Force, thus the need to be prepared.
“We recognise that based on our recruitment policy, there is that burning need not only for development at the tertiary levels, but also at the lower levels because of the sound primary education requirement to enter the Guyana Police Force,” he said. “This Memorandum of Agreement is intended to address the various levels and to develop our ranks from that sound primary education level in the shortest possible time…depending on their ability to learn, the University will deliver that knowledge to them up to the level that is required to meet our demands to provide security for our nation.”
The MoA caters for a range of programmes to be developed, with a few others to be refined. “Most will have to be developed and it entails a lot of work, but we are certain that the University of Guyana possess capable resource personnel to do that in the shortest possible time and we have no doubt about this, hence our partnership today,” Brutus asserted.
Part of the MoA has to do with accreditation of the Police Training College. “Our college is just by name, but the substance and the standard is not there. Our intention under this agreement is to ensure that we will be able to achieve this mandate, which is to have our college accredited in the shortest possible time, as well as train our instructors to deliver the professional part of the programme,” he stated.
Brutus noted that all the programmes currently being done in a haphazard way would be fashioned into accredited programmes for the Police Force, “at the end of which our Policemen and women who choose to leave us after they are developed will be able to go into the world and acquire respectable jobs with the qualification they would have earned within the organisation”.
He said the GPF had no issue with such ranks/officers leaving, providing that it was within their contractual obligations. He said the Police Force would also be proud to be part of their development as Guyanese.
Brutus also extended, on behalf of the Police Force, appreciation to the University, specifically Vice Chancellor Mohamed-Martin, for her patience and support during the discussions leading up to the signing of the MoA.
Dr Mohamed-Martin expressed satisfaction with the arrangement since it comes in a wide national strategic context. According to her, this strategic context will allow for more transparency and a more service-oriented Police Force with diversified service across the country.
She believes the MoA allows for a more focused and accelerated path for the reformation plan of the Police Force and the University is very happy to walk this path with the GPF.
Other aspects such as public perception survey of the Police Force, recruitment strategy that will diversify against the different levels of skill-sets and a technologically-driven force will be seen coming out from this MoA in the future.
“The Police Force is really taking on a very cutting edge, very focused, a very dynamic path despite all the challenges they have been having and we’re very happy to be working with the Police Force,” Dr Mohamed-Martin said.
Also in attendance at the signing ceremony were Assistant Superintendent Nicola Kendell, Officer-in-Charge of the Strategic Planning Unit; Assistant Superintendent Bharat Persaud, Deputy Finance Officer; Police Legal Advisor Mandel Moore; and Head of the Police Corporate Communications Unit, Mark Ramotar.