With promotions, Top Cop aims for improved command, control throughout Police Force
Minister of Home Affairs Robeson Benn, Commissioner of Police (acting) Clifton Hicken, and Police Service Commission Chairman Patrick Findlay on Tuesday met with the newly promoted Officers and Inspectors of the Guyana Police Force at the Officers’ Training Centre, Eve Leary.
While congratulating the newly promoted Officers and Inspectors, Minister Benn reminded them of the huge responsibilities placed on them by virtue of their promotion.
“I want to congratulate all of you for being promoted and for staying and standing during a particularly difficult period in our history where somehow all of us, particularly the Police Force, were challenged in respect of mission paradigm and doctrine and professional standards as to what you had to do as your duty to your country, to the Constitution and to the people of Guyana,” Minister Benn stated.
Quoting the famous scientist Albert Einstein, “Adversity confronts a man with himself,” Minister Benn said “the adversity that we have faced over the last few years and even recently confronts each and every one of us with ourselves. When we speak of ourselves as Guyanese, we have to again recognize who we are as Guyanese — multi-cultural, multi-ethnic and multi-religious.”
Hicken, in a brief and passionate charge, said this is a momentous time for the Force and the promotion should be seen as the “dawn of a new era for the Guyana Police Force”.
Hicken began his congratulatory speech to the Officers by saying, “Much is given, much is expected and this long-awaited promotion was waiting on God’s time.”
Further, the Top Cop noted that ethical standards and ethical behaviour must be exhibited from the echelon of the organization that is the Guyana Police Force.
“I’m leading the charge by displaying the epitome of discipline, meaning I didn’t frown. I smiled and I continued to work even when I was superseded because, like every other Christian person, what is ordained is already ordained from birth. God has brought you here and he’s not going to leave you alone, but he’s going to guide the process forward,” Mr. Hicken posited.
Highlighting the importance of the Force’s Executive Leadership Team (ELT), the Top Cop told the promoted Officers that the ELT has spent a considerable amount of time in deriving structures, putting together the strategic plan, and looking at SOPs and TORs to guide the Guyana Police Force.
Alluding to the importance of having a contemporary Police Force, Hicken said the pillars of the Force’s strategic plan 2022 to 2026 speak to just that. He noted that one of the pillars speaks to professionalism and accountability as required by any developing organization. “Transparency is paramount,” he said, while noting that the Guyana Police Force is on the cusp of modernization both infrastructurally and with regard to human development.
“Suffice to say, we have spent days and nights looking at the promotions list, not to just balance the Force, but to improve command and control at the strategic, tactical and the operational levels,” Mr. Hicken said.
He noted that the GPF’s objective is to ensure that all communities across Guyana are safe and this can only be achieved by understanding the dynamics of individual communities.
“We are part of the community, we are from the community, and this is the same community we have problems with, it shouldn’t be that way. And so, as we move forward with a renewed vision, we are going to police the community and the communities by getting involved in activities. I’ve been doing outreaches to set the tone because it’s imperative that we lead by example,” the Top Cop said.
“The Police Force is a professional organization that was structured for continuity. We have 183 years in existence and we are standing on a foundation that can withstand any amount of scrutiny,” he posited.
Mr. Hicken noted that there are adequate policies, SOPs and regulations to guide members of the Force in their everyday duty.
The Top Cop warned that any policeman or woman who decide to go outside of the policy of the organization to make decisions that can impact the organization negatively, they will face the consequences.
“We are not going to allow a few policemen and women to tarnish the image of this organization. As we witnessed the other day, we are making six steps forward, and because of unprofessionalism, we are taking two steps backward,” Mr. Hicken posited.
He also told the promoted Officers and Inspectors that ‘rotation’ is a management tool that is used to create efficiency. “We are going to do away with the word transfer as it is too personal, it refers to a thing. We are going to rotate this organization and we are going to enforce best practices.”
“You are the ‘catalyst for change’ group and we, at the ELT level, will be looking forward to your assessment report from the commanders. Additionally, your performance will be measured based on how the Divisions are managed,” Mr. Hicken said.
The Top Cop alluded to the fact that “in the absence of a leader, a new leader emerges.”
“If you can achieve collapsing barriers and building bridges in the communities, the effort will not go unnoticed. Hence this will build public trust and therefore whenever the Guyana Police Force faces challenges the entire nation will come in support of the Police. That is what we are trying to achieve and that cannot be done in isolation,” the Top Cop asserted.
In closing, Mr. Hicken stated: “I believe in you, we all believe in you because like I said, you’re ordained to be here this day, this time and so as we go forward, just remember what I said to you: MUCH IS GIVEN, MUCH IS EXPECTED. Today brings the dawn of a new era where members of the Guyana Police Force will ensure that misconduct and unprofessionalism will not be condoned but instead you’re going to spend more time and energy serving the community as mandated by our mission statement. God bless you all and congratulations.”
In an emotional speech, the Chairman of the Police Service Commission, Bishop Patrick Findlay pointed out that this was the largest promotions list ever. “I am glad that I was a part of your upward mobility,” Bishop Findley told the newly promoted Officers and Inspectors.
“I know the sacrifices you came through and I know the storms that some of you have been through. It is for this reason that I want to congratulate you today for sticking the course and I want to encourage you to make a positive difference,” the PSC Chairman said.
“You are agents of change. Your elevation in rank doesn’t only bring opportunities or benefits; it also has tremendous responsibilities, and therefore, I want to encourage you to walk with integrity, I want to encourage you to exhibit your task with diligence, dexterity, and determination,” Bishop Findlay charged.
He further charged the attentive officers and inspectors to give of their best and stand true to the motto of the Force of Service and Protection.
“I charge you to understand your roles and responsibilities…you are hand-picked and you are chosen and I am a preacher and I believe that none of you would be sitting here today if God did not ordain it. If God ordains it and if he brings you to it, he will bring you through it so don’t be discouraged, stay focused and let us move forward,” the PSC Chairman said.
Calvin Brutus, Deputy Commissioner of Administration (ag), noted that today’s activity is symbolic, traditional, and important. “Our objective as the Guyana Police Force is to provide the optimal level of public security to the nation and in doing so we act as change agents and as citizens to help develop our nation,” Mr. Brutus stated.
Also present at this morning’s momentous occasion was the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Home Affairs Ms. Mae Toussaint Jr. Thomas, Head of SOCU Mr. Fazil Karimbaksh, Deputy Commissioner Operations (ag) Mr. Ravindradat Budhram, Deputy Commissioner Law Enforcement (ag) Mr. Wendell Blanhum, Regional Commander Division # 3 Mr. Mahendra Siwnarine, Head of Special Branch Mr. Errol Watts, Regional Commander Division 4 ‘C’ Mr. Khali Pareshram, Regional Commander Division # 5 Mr. Kurleigh Simon, along with all the newly promoted officers and inspectors.