Ramnarine’s transfer politically motivated – retired officer
- embattled Assistant Commissioner maintains he did the right thing
The recent move to strip Assistant Commissioner David Ramnarine of his Commander posting was too harsh and an inefficient use of scarce manpower, according to a retired senior officer of the Guyana Police Force.
The retired officer is of the view that the time has come for officers to stand up, and be professional in the execution of their duties.
In an apparent move to silence the outspoken Assistant Commissioner, Ramnarine has been banished to the Department of Development, an obsolete police office with very little work to do.
His position as Commander of the police East Coast Demerara division has been taken by his former deputy, Senior Superintendent Owen Trotz.
Ramnarine had initially accused the force administration of not adequately providing for the ranks under his command in the Interior division during the November 2011 elections.
This angered the Home Affairs Minister Clement Rohee and led to a verbal confrontation between the two.
Rohee subsequently declared publicly that he had lost confidence in Ramnarine and requested Commissioner of Police (ag) Leroy Brumell to discipline the outspoken officer.
This led to Ramnarine being relieved of his command of the East Coast Demerara Division.
In an invited comment, the retired senior police officer who asked not to be named, told this newspaper that the Ramnarine issue could have been dealt with in a different manner.
“You can’t have a force that is telling itself it is short on manpower and you banish an officer for a simple thing like that, that can be dealt with otherwise. You can’t disrupt the force by leaving a less senior and inexperienced officer in a command when you have a senior man languishing in a corner,” the retired officer declared.
And with the fact that there has been no promotion so far this year in the Guyana Police Force, the decision is all the more puzzling, the retired officer pointed out.
Acting Commissioner of Police Leroy Brumell could not be reached for a comment as this newspaper was told he was out of the country.
Ramnarine for his part remained defiant, breaking his silence after initially refusing to comment on him being relieved of the commander post.
“The authorities whomsoever they may be can do as they please. That in no way changes who I am or the fact that I David Ramnarine, through my personal endeavours, funded in E&F Division over 70 percent of whatever it would have cost to feed the policemen, women and auxiliary. That cannot and will not change,” Ramnarine stated.
Ramnarine maintained that throughout his career he is aware that he has no transport for anything in law enforcement.
He stated though that he believes that wherever he has worked within the Guyana Police Force he has brought about “significant changes and positive development much more than others in their entire career can talk about”.
The officer said that the change in responsibility can be a reward, “in the sense that you don’t have to answer the telephone all hours of the nights.”
The retired officer told this newspaper that disciplinary action against Assistant Commissioner Ramnarine should have been the Commissioner’s call and not influenced by the Minister of Home Affairs.
“Even if they wanted to charge Ramnarine, that should have been the Commissioner’s decision. If the Commissioner decided that Ramnarine should have had a letter of censure, that is another way of dealing with it. But you don’t have to banish him for that. At this particular time you have divisions running without that grade of officers,” the retired officer said, adding that a transfer is not a punishment.
“Given the circumstances, it was just that it was politically motivated and the Commissioner wants to comply, that’s all…I know in this instance here, there is interference,” he added.
But the transfer took place at a time when Ramnarine was on annual leave and he was only officially informed of it on the day he was to resume duty.
Although Ramnarine indicated that he sensed that the transfer was coming, he proceeded on leave because according to him, it was the honourable thing to do.
“Many felt that I should not have gone on leave, since the opportunity would have been created for me to be relieved of command, but I disagree. That was the least of my concern,” Ramnarine stated.