New Top Cop must be “unbribable and intelligent”

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By Bibi Khatoon

With members of the Police Service Commission (PSC) today sworn in, the Guyana Police Force is one step closer to having a substantial Commissioner.

Mr David Ramnarine is currently acting in the position of Police Commissioner since former Commissioner, Seelall Persaud retired earlier this year.

President David Granger today outlined that he is looking for someone who has integrity, is intelligent and impartial.

“I don’t give orders to the Commissioner of Police but I want somebody that is unbribable. I want somebody who is intelligent and I want somebody who is committed to carrying out the programme- Security Sector reform – who has the initiative and who can generate public trust,” the Commander-in-Chief told the media after swearing in the PSC members at State House on Thursday morning.

“If I put somebody there who is not trustworthy, you know the public would laugh,” the Head-of-State contended.

Though he has already interviewed eight Assistant Commissioners, the President said he is yet to find someone who fits the requirements.

“I’m searching,” he said when probed by reporters.

Police Commissioner (ag), David Ramnarine

While he acknowledged that other Caribbean states have hired foreigners to fill the post of Police Commissioners, the Head-of-State is confident that there are talented Guyanese who ‘fits the bill’.

He noted that four Deputy Commissioners will be appointed to assist the new Police Commissioner.

“We haven’t had four Deputy Commissioners for a long time and the hierarchy has been flat and it creates a moral problem, everybody wants to rise to the top,” Granger told Reporters.

The Police Service Commission is chaired by Retired Assistant Police Commissioner Paul Slowe and is now expected to meet and review potential candidates for the post before consulting with the President.

Slowe also supported the President’s views but noted that of utmost importance is someone who is respectable.

“We look to see someone who is competent, someone who can command the respect of the members of the force and the public,” Slowe told reporters.

President David Granger swears in Chairman of the Police Service Commission, Retired Assistant Police Commissioner Paul Slowe

Other members of the Police Service Commission include retired Assistant Commissioner of Police, Clinton Conway; Public Service Commission Chairman, Attorney Michael Sommersall and retired Woman Assistant Commissioners of Police, Vesta Adams and Claire Jarvis.

President Granger in 2017 raised concerns about the level of unprofessionalism in the hierarchy of the Guyana Police Force (GPF).

The Former Police Commissioner, Seelall Persaud came in for scathing criticisms following a Commission of Inquiry into an alleged plot to assassinate the President in 2017.

That CoI was headed by Slowe.

President Granger and members of the PSC

The report from the CoI recommended that Persaud should be made to resign his position after he was accused of bypassing the chain of command when he instructed that Nizam Khan, who was a suspect in the alleged assassination plot, be sent on bail.

Persaud faced trying times during his tenure which also included a public rift with the current acting Police Commissioner. The rift even saw Persaud reversing several promotions sanctioned by Ramnarine while he was on leave.

Persaud was also embroiled in controversy when it was found that he approved a license for himself for a private gun dealership.

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