With tenure up, authorities could let Hicken serve longer or appoint new Top Cop
With the current Commissioner of Police (ag) Clifton Hicken nearing the age of retirement, a decision is likely to be made soon on whether his tenure will be extended or whether he will be replaced.
“There are a lot of discussions which are ongoing relating to the [Police] Force…the information will be provided soon enough. Not just yet,” Minister of Home Affairs, Robeson Benn told News Room when approached for a comment at the sidelines of an event on Thursday.
Hicken turns 55 – the age of retirement on July 22, which is in the next two days.
In January of this year, Benn hinted at Hicken staying on the job, highlighting that the government was satisfied with his performance, which has seen the Force making significant strides, particularly as it relates to crime fighting and building community relations.
President Dr Irfaan Ali appointed Hicken to act as the country’s Commissioner of Police in March 2022.
The move was made to fill the gap after the then Commissioner of Police, Nigel Hoppie proceeded to pre-retirement leave. Before this, Hicken headed the Police Force’s Operations.
Hicken served the Guyana Police Force in capacities including Commander of the then ‘A’ Division (Georgetown) and ‘B’ Division (Berbice).
He was also the Head of the Force Training Centre.
Under the Constitution of Guyana, the President can appoint a Commissioner of Police and Deputy Commissioners of Police only after consulting with the Opposition Leader and Chairperson of the Police Service Commission (PSC). The Chairperson also has to consult with the other members of the Commission.
Article 211 (2) states, “If the office of Commissioner of Police is vacant or if the holder thereof is for any reason unable to perform the functions of his office, a person may be appointed to act in that office and the provisions of the preceding paragraph shall apply to such an appointment as they apply to the appointment of a person to hold that office; and any person appointed to act in the office of Commissioner of Police shall, subject to the provisions of paragraphs (3) and (4), continue to act until a person has been appointed to that office and has assumed the functions thereof or, as the case may be, until the holder thereof resumes those functions.”