… 173rd Anniversary
It lacks resources, in manpower, equipment and money, and its facilities are way below the desired standards.
But the City Constabulary is not fazed by the challenges even though it provides a key function for the troubled Mayor and Councillors of the City of Georgetown (M&CC).
Starting today, the ‘Constab”, as it is more familiarly known, will be kicking off its 173rd anniversary celebrations with a church service at City Hall’s Concert Hall.
And the message is very clear, says Chief Constable, Andrew Foo. The ‘Constab’ is here to stay and its team will be looking at new ways to serve the city of Georgetown.
Already, the city police, although way short on manpower and with not many eyeing the vacancies, is taxed to make sure that Georgetown is protected.
The busy thoroughfare of the Stabroek and Bourda Markets are haven for illegal activities. Home and familiar grounds to many, the ‘Constab’ job to protect the facilities of Georgetown, ensure that chaos does not prevail and charging lawbreakers, is not made any easier by additional tasks.
Foo made the disclosure last week during a briefing on the department’s plans for its anniversary celebrations.
The celebrations continue tomorrow at the Concert Hall with a lecture by the M&CC’s Public Relation Officer, Royston King, on the role of the Council and policing in the city.
On Tuesday morning, at 06:00 hrs, city residents can gather at the Guyana Local Government Officers Union Hall (GLGOU), Woolford Avenue, for a fitness exercise session that could end at the National Park.
The fun part, however, continues on Wednesday, at the Hall, with a “King and Queen” Dominoes Competition starting at midday, followed by football matches two hours later.
On Thursday, in addition to cricket beginning at 11:00hrs, the winners of the previous day’s domino matches will be playing against the Guyana Prison Service and Guyana Fire Service.
On Friday, City Constabulary ranks will be working to clean up the different outposts and the City Hall compound.
According to Foo, Friday has also been designated as the Chief Constable Day and workers will be treated to lunch at GLGOU Hall.
Founded in 1837, the ‘Constab’ has mandated to enforce the city’s by-laws. But Georgetown’s explosive growth is a challenge. Not many know that while the Guyana Police Force has authority to arrest and charge, the ‘Constab’ has some more far-reaching powers. Spitting on the pavement, for instance, could see someone charged or even opening an umbrella on the pavement or pushing a baby stroller.
Additionally, the ‘Constab’ is authorised to clear all pavements of encumbrances.
According to the Chief Constable, one of the more serious challenges facing the Constabulary is attracting persons to join the ranks.
At the moment, the work force, just over 100, comprises more women than men. To properly secure its facilities, the M&CC was forced to hire a private firm.
And, according to Foo, while there is an old regulation that stipulates that ‘Constab’ workers have to come from Georgetown, the reality is that one-third of the workforce come from elsewhere, in some cases as far as Linden.
And the city does not have accommodations now for out-of-town workers.
The Chief Constable admitted that proper equipment and vehicles are needed but the city’s finances just cannot afford to do anymore right now.
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