President tells Police: performance must match request for greater benefits
President Irfaan Ali on Wednesday told commanding officers within the Guyana Police Force that he is committed to supporting the embodiment of professionalism throughout the law enforcement body.
The President was at the time attending the annual Police Commissioner’s breakfast at the Officers’ Mess in Eve Leary, Georgetown.
The Head-of-State said he had heard the request for improvements in the benefits that police ranks receive and while he will ensure it manifest, the police must take steps to ensure that their performance match their request for higher salaries.
“I am not asking for anything beyond that… beyond that professionalism that would see remarkable improvement in the way population view you, view your uniform and view the government,” the Commander-in-Chief implored.
The President used the opportunity to assure police ranks that their welfare and that of their family will be seriously addressed by the government.
Dr. Ali told the gathering of senior police officers that ranks can expect marked improvement in their living and working conditions over the next five years.
“I will be the first to say higher salaries and better salaries is needed but similarly I want to see marked improvements in your performance,” he added.
He said while some feel that ranks must receive incentives on a case outcome basis, similar to a production incentive in other industries, he does not subscribe to that thinking.
“I don’t believe this is the way forward… we must never give the impression that the only driving force is incentive and reward,” Dr. Ali said.
He urged police ranks to stay true to their oath and remember that it is the love for country and people that should motivate them.
Already, Dr, Ali said the government is working on a special housing programme that will not only see hosuelots being given to police ranks but will help them qualify for loans and grants to build their houses.
“These are important things that add to performance and jobs satisfaction,” he said.
Additionally, the President said he is interested in a highly trained and educated police force.
To this end, he said some 20,000 scholarships will be given out next year and special provisions will be in place for men and women in the police force to access the scholarship.
President Ali also told the ranks that the government is looking to fix at an institutional level the manner in which relatives of police officers who were killed in the line of duty is taken care of.
Already the President has announced a two weeks tax-free bonus for all men and women in uniform.
He said notwithstanding this, along with other relief being offered through the COVID support programme, the government is looking at additional support for police ranks.
Minister of Home Affairs, Robeson Benn was also a part of the annual Commissioner’s breakfast.