I read with keen interest a letter dated February 11, 2017 under the caption, “Following management reforms the police now is different from the one which Conway served.” This letter was signed by the police Public Relations and Press Officer. There was also the same letter in the Guyana Chronicle the day in question, under the heading, “Police Force fact-checks Clinton Conway.” Kaieteur News, February 10, 2017, carried my letter under the topic, “Many sections in the Guyana Police Force performed admirably.” I am sure that the PRO will cherish that headline. The police replied to that letter in the KN of February 13, 2017. Over the weekend I received several calls, emails, texts from persons residing in Guyana and overseas. Some felt that it is a subtle attempt made to belittle my character and integrity and asked me to respond to the PRO. I have acceded to their request.
I know the quartet who was ordered to do the response. Not surprising the Assistant Commissioner, Administration was not part of that team. They are my friends. I am in sympathy with them. They have to follow orders and sometimes display blind loyalty. I would not be surprised if there is a total state of denial that this did not happen. I did not blame the police for the deficit of 757 ranks. I wrote that there were under staffed by about 1000 ranks.
Whether or not the vacancy is 1000 or 757 it is immaterial. The point is that there is a large number of vacancies in the GPF but despite the need for more boots of various sizes and quality on the ground, certain sections of the force were excelling. I concluded that despite that challenge and several more, several sections of the force including the Major Crime Unit sparkled. I also highlighted the work of Assistant Commissioners, Ian Amsterdam and Clifton Hicken and Senior Superintendent Stephen Mansell. I praised the work of Mansell, particularly his community approaches to solve crime and wondered what the division was doing in that area, because since Mansell proceeded on leave crime has increased.
The public is kept in the dark if there are any community interventions. So far nothing was mentioned about the police/ public approaches to reduce crime since Mansell proceeded on leave. That was my point. The PRO stated that there is a 6 percent decrease in serious crime as compared to last year but he did not mention that certain crimes have increased. In any case crime in that division is too high and must be addressed. Let me respond to issues of training raised by the PRO. Recruitment and training particularly recruit training is designed to produce quantity rather than quality. Talk to the four months old probationers who recently graduated. Interview their immediate supervisors.
You will find out that the initial training was inadequate. Let me give you an isolated experience I had with one of the recruits in question. He was not courteous and very arrogant. I complained to his superior. This is what the superior said, “ Sir why you worrying; them is the four months police that we have to deal with, them en know nothing and how to talk to people.” The methodology and instructional materials leave much to be desired. No comments from the PRO about andragogy and eclectic approach towards training. I wonder why? Persons with station management experience are selected and after given a “train the trainer course” graduates being made instructors is rare.
Most of the present crop of instructors if any did not fall into that system. Should you not be a trained trainer before you benefit from a train the trainer course? Is the PRO referring to the short one-off training course conducted for trainers when Leroy Brummel was Commissioner? This was a course that involved facilitators from the Cyril Potter College of Education. Were any more held? I must admit that when I was the Force Training Officer, some courses took longer than planned. They were diverse reasons for this course of action.
Many do not exist today. I was not prepared to sacrifice quality for quantity. Hence I ensured that the recruits were properly trained before they graduated. Paul Williams, the Force Trainer is an excellent senior officer yet he is given a basket to fetch water in terms of the human and other resources given to him. He has a Law Degree from the University Of Guyana. He is denied the reasonable assistance to develop academically but he is a fighter and believes in self development. He is commissioner material.
The PRO wrote; “While the force cannot dispute Mr. Conway’s experience while he was serving to say that ‘ghosting’ was done in a large division when Mr. Green was Commissioner of Police, is actually lying on the dead.”
What a contradiction? What a deadly statement? The PRO admits that the force cannot dispute what I experienced ‘ ghosting, ‘yet he wrote that I am actually lying on the dead. Deceased commissioner Henry Greene did not commit ghosting. The commander did. He is alive and well. Due to respect for him, he will remain nameless. There were more cases of ghosting which for the time being I will not disclose. I repeat that I experienced ghosting. I do not know if it is currently taking place. I will have more to say later
Asst. Commissioner of Police (rdt)
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