Uncertainty surrounds appointment of new Top Cop

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By Leroy Smith

The Government has not yet decided on who the next Commissioner of Police will be. At the moment, Assistant Commissioner of Police David Ramnarine is the next senior officer in line and if the government decides to allow the natural succession to take its course, Ramnarine could be the next commissioner of Police.

On Monday, Minister of State Joseph Harmon said that the APNU+AFC government is not in the business of overstepping those in line. Ramnarine is followed by Assistant Commissioner Clifton Hicken, who is already tipped to head the force for a four-day period in the new week, as Ramnarine is expected to be out of the country.

“There is a structure in the force that will facilitate officers who go on leave, that officers are identified to act in their place. The force has a structure that will allow for the next senior rank to act up in the capacity as the Commissioner of Police,” Minister Harmon said.

Minister of State, Joseph Harmon

Harmon was asked specifically if Assistant Police Commissioner, Paul Williams is likely to take up the chair after substantive Commissioner of Police, Seelall Persaud leaves but the Minister of State would not confirm or deny.

He would only say that President David Granger is still looking at the recommendations of the recently concluded Commission of Inquiry (COI), which investigated an alleged plot to assassinate the Head of State. Harmon also confirmed that he did meet with Persaud recently where issues pertaining to the welfare of the Top Cop were discussed.

“Well, we are always in touch with Mr Seelall Persaud. Mr Seelall Persaud is still a member of the Guyana Police Force. I personally have met with Mr Seelall Persaud a few weeks ago in relation to what he considers to be important matters in relation to his own welfare,” he said.

The State Minister did not say much on the recommendations for the dismissal of the Top Cop as contained in the COI report. Persaud is slated to retire in the first quarter of 2018.

“I would not comment on this dismissal, dismissal business. I am not going to comment on that. You heard that Minister Ramjattan already give his views on the matter publically…as I said, it is going to considered by the cabinet and the president.”

Meanwhile, when asked about government’s position on Crime Chief Wendell Blanhum, Harmon said: “Mr Blanhum is a student at the University of Guyana.”

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