Police rope in Budhram as Crime Chief
By Leroy Smith
The Guyana Police Force has overlooked its Deputy Crime Chief, Senior Superintendent Reshi Dass as a replacement for substantive Crime Chief, Wendell Blanhum who is reportedly on accumulated leave.
Senior Superintendent Ravindranauth Budhram is now acting as the country’s Crime Chief. That move took effect today. Budhram has been serving as the Commander of ‘F’ Division for some years now, following the retirement of Senior Superintendent, Courtney Ramsey and the splitting of ‘E’ and ‘F’ Divisions. Budhram would serve as the Crime Chief until December while Senior Superintendent Edmond Cooper has been posted to ‘F’ Division as the Commander.
Superintendent Linden Isles, has been asked to fill the void left by Cooper who served as Deputy Commander in ‘B’ Division.
Dass, who has been serving as the Deputy Crime Chief since earlier this year, is reportedly on sick leave, according to one source within the Guyana Police Force.
Added to that, Dass was one of the senior officers who appeared before the Commission of Inquiry (CoI), that was investigating an alleged plot to assassinate President David Granger.
Blanhum had also appeared before the COI and following the testimony of Police Commissioner (ag), David Ramnarine, Blanhum wrote to the Chairman of the COI, Paul Slowe and requested to return to the stand to clear up some points made by Ramnarine. Attorney-at-Law, Glen Hanoman had said to the commission that, “Blanhum was crying for an opportunity to clear his name.” That request was denied by Slowe.
While no police source has officially confirmed that Blanhum is on accumulated lave, the News Room has received a document which shows that Blanhum’s leave was scheduled to be taken in July of this year. The leave would have run from July 01, 2017 to November 04, 2017.
It is unclear if the Crime Chief would have been asked to proceed on his accumulated leave or if he requested it and approved by the force. President Granger recently told the media that there was a significant degree of unprofessionalism and deficiencies within the top command of the Guyana Police Force as he spoke to the need for reform within the organization.
During the COI, testimonies and statements from members of the public and police officers, including the now acting Commissioner of Police, exposed what many described as unprofessional conduct within the Major Crimes Unit of the Criminal Investigation Department and the manner in which they handled the alleged plot to kill the president.