Cops seeking promotion will have to complete studies, sit exams – Hicken
By Isanella Patoir
The administration of the Guyana Police Force is seeking to change the way in which its ranks are promoted and will soon implement certain “core courses” that cops have to study and then write an exam.
This is all part of a strategic effort by the Police Force to fill knowledge gaps and create a more professional Force, Commissioner of Police (ag) Clifton Hicken revealed during a recent diaspora engagement facilitated by the Diaspora Unit within the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation.
Currently, the promotion of policemen and women is done by the recommendation of senior officers to the Police Service Commission.
“For one to be elevated from one rank to the other, you will have to do what we consider to be core courses for the criteria, discipline, performance and write a promotional exam,” Hicken announced on Tuesday.
In order for them to qualify for the promotion, the ranks must pass the exam.
“So by doing that, [it] is going to build capacity and so, [at] every [level the ranks] will be adequately endowed with the amount of knowledge they supposed to have,” Hicken told members of the diaspora.
The courses ranks need to study for promotion include Certificate in General Policing; Junior Leaders Course 1 and 2; Station Sergeant Course 1 and 2; Junior Officers Course 1 and 2; Senior Officers Course 1 and 2 and Senior Command and Staff Course.
Based on complaints received by members of the public, Hicken said it was found that the majority of the ranks neglect their duty.
Further analysis has recognised a gap in terms of knowledge and as such, the core courses will be available at every level.
“There will be core courses at every level right up to the assistant commissioner,” Hicken said.
He also noted that while there are members of the Force who are highly qualified with master’s, degrees and doctorates, “what we found in our analysis too is that we are lacking the professionalism.”
Hicken said training for police prosecutors will also be available.
“For us to have successful prosecution, we have to have a prosecutor with the requisite skill set….who will prepare witnesses so we can have a successful prosecution.”
The Top Cop said the overall aim is to move the training of police officers from the training school level to a tertiary level and so, plans are underway to accredit the police training colleges to police academies.
To cater to tertiary learning, the Force has signed Memoranda of Understanding with the University of Guyana, Nation’s University, Texila American University, and the Government Technical Institute among others.
“We will, in the future, seek to establish agreements with other universities, both in the region and internationally,” Hicken said.
Meanwhile, Hicken assured the diaspora that a revision of the Force’s selection criteria, recruitment and training policies will be done.
And to further improve the lives of officers, a Day care and Welfare Department was also established and will be available in all police divisions.
“So members can understand that they can focus on police work and their children are taken care of.”