Senior Officers of the Guyana Police Force are once again venting their anger at the Ministry of Home Affairs, this time over the slashing of their annualized vacation leave.
The Ministry, by way of a circular dated June 4, 2012, and addressed to Commissioner of Police (acting) Leroy Brumell, has advised that only 21 days annualized leave will be granted to senior officers of the Force.
The Officers, from Senior Superintendents up, previously enjoyed 42 days Annual Leave.
The move is being seen by the officers as another move by the Ministry to micro-manage the Guyana Police Force and its operations.
The circular which was signed by Debra Lewis, Human Resource Manager of the Ministry of Home Affairs, for the Permanent Secretary, stated “….a decision has been taken that only twenty-one (21) days Annualized Vacation Leave will be granted to senior officers within the Guyana Police Force.”
No reason has been given for what some officers described as the arbitrary decision by the ministry, which they claimed was done without any regard for the Public Service rules that stipulates the leave structure for officers and others by their ranks.
Usually, officers and other ranks have been requested to defer their annual leave at certain times such as election periods and unrest.
This obtained last year when the force was preparing to provide security for the General Elections in November.
According to a source, some officers have accumulated leave in excess of 200 days, and with the new move there is no telling when then will be able to benefit.
“We don’t know why this was done. It’s as if the government is expecting trouble soon. There is no crisis, no riot situation,” one officer declared.
Only last week the police and the Ministry of Home Affairs gave a public demonstration of the capabilities of the newly-acquired water cannon which was purchased with the sole intention of aiding the police in the control of riotous crowds.
The move is certainly not going down well with some of the officers, who have already booked airline tickets to spend their vacation overseas.
With the new move, the senior officers are now on par with Constables in terms of annual leave.
According to the police leave structure, constables are entitled to 21 days leave; Corporals, Sergeants and Inspectors 28 days; junior officers up to the rank of Superintendent, 35 days, while the Senior Officers had 42.
While no officer was bold enough to speak publicly on the matter, many of them who were contacted by this newspaper expressed concern over the increasing influence that the Ministry of Home Affairs has been exercising over the operations of the Guyana Police Force.
They believe that the Home Affairs Minister Clement Rohee is making good on his declaration of “kicking ass” in the Guyana Police Force.
Only recently, the Minister had instructed that senior police officers be more visible on the roads, a move that was also viewed by the officers as dictatorial.
“Senior officers, including Commanders, do go out on the roads many times, so that instruction was not necessary,” one officer told Kaieteur News.
It is not clear if the move by the Ministry to slash the annual leave extends to senior officers of other disciplined services.
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