Cops allowed to have supplementary income -Ramnarine
By Leroy Smith
The Guyana Police Force is not opposed to having its members earning a supplementary income, however, Assistant Commissioner of Police, David Ramnarine disclosed that there is a process which ought to be followed before those ranks can earn that extra money.
Ramnarine, during an invited comment from the members of the media on Tuesday afternoon in Region 3, noted that “for a policeman to be engaged, that is, in lawful activities with a view to earn other than that salary which he is receiving officially, he has got to have the permission from the Commissioner of Police and prior to that permission there is a process by which he has to engage.”
Ramnarine is performing the duties of Commissioner of Police. His comment came on the heels of the revelation that a Police Constable, Timothy Horatio was the part-time driver of a minibus which ended up in an accident on Sunday evening on Regent Street.
That Process the Assistant Commissioner referred to, speaks to the rank making an application. He was, however, quick to point out that the police force has never been in the habit of granting wholesale permission to its members to engage in supplementary employment, given the nature of policing which is basically a 24/7 job.
He said that in the interest of the Guyana Police Force, those permissions are granted on a case by case basis, and among the things taken into consideration is the fact that the organisation does not want its ranks engaging in activities which would be a conflict of interest to policing, or getting into conflict with members of the public.
“We don’t want to deny any member of the force who wants to peruse what you call supplementing his salary by legitimate means but you and I need to understand that where minibus driving is concerned, we have had within the recent past and some years ago, ugly instances of policed men breaching the rules of the road and people are complaining that look that these are members of the force and they are the ones who are involved and are causing us to get bad name also” he related.
With respect to the very contentious issue of policemen in particular driving minibuses, the Senior Police Officer admitted that the job is a “hustle” and driver have to make a target which in itself has been causing confusion on the roadways and contributes to the breaking of road codes; something that policemen who are driving minibuses are also guilty of.
He was then asked if the force was prepared to continue granting permission for its ranks to engage in supplementary jobs, other than minibus driving to which he responded; “A few years now we have been having minibus in our fleet of vehicle and you have got to make that policeman a force driver to drive minibus but before he becomes a force driver he has got to be the holder of a minibus license of his private license so we have got to re-examine that because a lot of those who got through with the minibus on their private licenses who got through with the force permit are misusing it by now not seeking permission but sneaking out, going on sick leave days on sick leave and they are found driving minibus on the road so it’s something we need to access something we need to probably clamp down on to minimise these instances.”
It was also clarified that there is no special process for members of the force to be granted minibus licenses.
On Sunday, Police Constable, Timothy Horatio who was driving a minibus loaded with passengers slammed into a motorcyclist and later a utility pole injuring several passengers in the bus. One person subsequently succumbed to his injuries.
That policeman was yesterday charged with causing death by dangerous driving.