Reviewed pay scale, performance incentives in pipeline for Police ranks – Pres Ali

In assuring that their emoluments would be improved in the future, President Dr Irfaan Ali on Thursday detailed to members of the Guyana Police Force (GPF) the Government’s plan to realign the current pay scale.
He made this disclosure at the Annual Police Officers’ Conference at the Arthur Chung Conference Center (ACCC), while adding that the Government is looking to recalibrate the current pay scale, which would ultimately see better emolument packages for Police ranks.

President Dr Irfaan Ali addressing members of the Guyana Police Force on Thursday

“An important issue is the realignment of the pay scale…but we also have to look at the pay scale of the Guyana Police Force as against all entities. We had promised an aligned pay scale across agencies in Government. Things will get better. Conditions will get better. Your emolument package will get better, but also with that would require better performance,” he detailed.In attendance at the conference was Home Affairs Minister Robeson Benn; Chief of Staff of the Guyana Defence Force, Brigadier Godfrey Bess; Police Commissioner (ag) Nigel Hoppie, and other senior officers of the Guyana Police Force.
Along with improved salaries, the President informed that introduction of an incentive-based performance system to complement promotions and emoluments has been brewing as a topic. This system, adopted by other countries, has proven successful, and Home Affairs Minister Robeson Benn has been tasked with designing a workable model.

President Ali inspecting the Guard of Honour upon his arrival at the Arthur Chung Conference Center (ACCC)

“I’ve asked the Minister of Home Affairs to develop a policy on an incentive-based performance system for the Guyana Police Force. We have seen how this has helped in countries like Rwanda, and has changed dramatically the image of the law enforcement entity. It has brought results, so whilst we have an average time of five to six years for persons moving up the brass, there must be a mechanism in which emoluments are affected other than promotion,” Ali pointed out.
Further, the President, who is also Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, reiterated his administration’s intention of building a regional Police academy.
“We are in detailed discussions with many development partners in the developed world…and we are pursuing a path of development of the Police academy,” he disclosed.
Meanwhile, Ali expressed his satisfaction in the way the image of the Force has been repositioned, as well as the Force’s accomplishments within the past year.
One of the most tremendous accomplishments in the last year is the extremely great results flowing from coordination between our security entities and security bodies. “This is the type of relationship building. There is a tremendous improvement, a visual improvement in the relationship and support of members of the Joint Services… We’re a small population and it requires us to work strongly together,” he commented.

Stronger divisions
In laying out his expectations for the GPF, the President said a lot of work remains to identify weaknesses and close those gaps.
“We cannot continue on the same trajectory. There must be a rapid improvement to the work of the Force. This is critical. The work of the Force is linked to the nature of the economy and the development that is taking place, and we’re seeing rapid development of the country from the physical perspective,” the Head of State posited.
Consequently, he called for stronger regional divisions, which would be supported through Government intervention to provide necessary resources.
“We’re strengthening the regionalisation of the Force, to ensure stronger regional divisions, which can be more responsive to crime. We’re also emphasising training and improved working conditions for members of the Force. Notwithstanding these positive developments, it can no longer be business as usual when it comes to policing,” he said.
This year’s conference is being held under the theme “Promoting Improvement of Public Trust and Confidence, Maintaining Safety and Security through Competence, Professionalism and Partnership”.