Police, politics, protocols & problems (Part 2)

Dear Editor,
Without any exemption, the general consensus wants to agree without any hesitation that Police officers should be the role models for society. But recent events leave much to be desired from the men and women in uniform, representing a disciplined force that exercises the control, execution and practice of law, order, rules, regulations, dignity, honesty, integrity, justice, fairness and equality. A display of sound judgement is required daily in the defence of their line of duty, whether officially or as a civilian.
Here are a few selected and interesting observations, capturing the sour notes of a proud regime. The Guyana Police Force in a statement confirmed that a Police Commander and two other ranks were busted with smuggled alcohol in their possession. The Commander originally denied any smuggling activity and later agreed to pay the taxes on the seized articles. All of them remain on the job. A policeman was charged with having sex with an underage (13 years) teen and placed on a $150,000 bail. One cop was charged with causing the deaths of three friends in a motor vehicle accident while under the influence of alcohol. A number of senior personnel are under investigation for the dragging case of the missing 150 guns. Another case of $150 million fraud within the Police department is gaining momentum or in abeyance. All these employees would have been under the watchful eyes and guise of the APNU/AFC party. The issuance of some 150 gun licences under the former Security Minister Ramjattan’s jurisdiction, leaves speculations and questionable diversion from the common protocol. The many revealed and unrevealed claims for “left or write,” in the Traffic Dept, is staggering and shocking. No wonder many of the new recruits are hoping and praying to be posted in the Traffic Department. It’s an open secret that Police and army officials are loaning their guns and uniforms to bandits for criminal activities. Many such personnel themselves are involved in crime. Many files and reports have disappeared from Police possession. Many incriminating pieces of evidence have been destroyed while in the custody of the Police. Many ceased items mysteriously disappear into thin air from the Police department. During the days of banned food items, the goods forcefully taken away from people ended up in the homes of many Police officers. Citizens are known to be under Police duress while paying with blood, sweat and tears out of fear. Many Police are known to look the other way for multiple reasons while being adequately compensated. The execution of injustice in different forms is not an unheard thing. Failing to take corrective action is widely broadcast especially during election time. Ignoring the plea for protection by women of a certain ethnicity is a common call during the fever of vandalism and blackguarded demonstrations. Encouraging hooliganism and molestation of females while being robbed and attacked brutishly, is historically recorded. Savagely beating demonstrators, seizing and damaging recording equipment and cameras from newspaper reporters, reflect the dark days of the force during PNC dictatorship. A Head of the crime squad was implicated in criminal activities. A prominent Assistant Police Commissioner was reprimanded and removed from being the commander of a Division for doing the right thing and upholding the law while making a “judgment call.” He was demoted to “Patrol Officer,” because he refused to allow a lower rank officer to bypass his authority and disrespect him and he would not be a stooge to political autonomy. So many prison upheavals are most troublesome and the findings of illegitimate articles in cells are atrocious. The complicity of officials is worrisome and the sending on leave of the Prison Director raises eyebrows. The callous advantages capitalised by the rogue elements in the Force have materialised in various forms over a period of time, especially under the PNC rulership. This is only the tip of the iceberg reflecting the downside of a Force which needs the respect of society. (To be continued).

Jai Lall