Commissioner of Police (ag) Leroy Brumell is expected to make a decision soon on the requested
disciplinary action against outspoken Assistant Commissioner David Ramnarine. He is to decide on making a recommendation to the Police Service Commission.
Brumell had written to Ramnarine for him to state why disciplinary action should not be taken against him for his alleged breach of the force’s standing order, which prohibits him from speaking publicly without permission on matters related to the organization.
This followed a request by Home Affairs Minister Clement Rohee who had declared that he had lost confidence in the divisional commander.
Ramnarine, who was given two days to respond to Brumell, has reportedly sent a belated response, the details of which were not immediately available.
Ramnarine had ruffled a few feathers when he publicly declared that he had not received any money to provide meals for his ranks during the elections, from the funds allocated for such purpose by the government.
He embarrassed the administration by stating that he was advised to beg members of the business community for assistance to feed his ranks.
The Minister of Home Affairs, obviously irked by Ramnarine’s outspokenness, had at the annual police officers’ conference, issued a warning to officers about speaking to the media on force matters of a sensitive nature.
“I want to warn about this malpractice. The Guyana Police Force is an integral Member of the Disciplined Services, as such its Members are expected to behave in a disciplined manner. Once the Commissioner of Police issues a Force Order in respect to communications with the Media, it is expected that all and sundry within the Force, particularly at the Senior level will fall in line and uphold that Order and will not seek to adopt an individualistic and egoistic stand and moreso, provide their personal view to the Media,” the Home Affairs Minister had told the officers.
This did not deter Ramnarine though, and a few days later he expressed his views in an articulate Letter to the Editor in Guyana’s two leading dailies.
In the letter Ramnarine argued that his constitutional right to free expression superseded the Force’s standing order.
The situation reached boiling point as this further rattled the Home Affairs Minister who immediately wrote to Acting Commissioner Brumell requesting disciplinary action against Assistant Commissioner Ramnarine.
The Minister in his letter to Brumell stated that it must be borne in mind that Ramnarine serves at the highest level of the Force, yet he has chosen to set a bad example for the Force under cover of his constitutional rights.
“His actions are careless, Part III of the Police (Discipline) Act Chapter (17:01) states: ‘Any Member of the Force (other than the Commissioner) who communicates to the Publisher or Editor of any newspaper or to any unauthorised person any matter connected with the Force without the permission of the Commissioner; commits an offence against discipline and is liable to such punishment as may be imposed upon him by the Commissioner or the Disciplinary Authority in accordance with the provisions of the Schedule except that no punishment provided in Sub-paragraph (d), (e), (f), or (g) or paragraph 1 of the schedule shall be imposed on a Special Constable who has not been called out full time service’.”
In the circumstances, the Minister of Home Affairs hereby declared that that he had lost confidence in Ramnarine and as a consequence, had requested that action be taken at his level in accordance with the Police (Discipline) Act Chap 17:01.
Should Ramnarine fail to respond to the acting commissioner’s memo, the matter will be taken before the Police Service Commission for action to be taken.
If a case is made out against Ramnarine, he could be demoted in seniority or could receive a letter of censure.
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