It is closing in on four months since the term of the last Police Service Commission (PSC) expired. Four months is a long time for such a pivotal body to be up in the air. It is 2018, and in spite of promises, and possible best intentions, the void continues to exist.
The final decision on the members to serve in the successor PSC must not follow along the lines of other sensitive positions and appointments by being allowed to hover unendingly. Already it has been too long. Too long comes across as indecisive; too long raises the specter of more of what came before.
Too much is at stake for this delayed situation to stay this way. This is sure to generate questions; even dispute, over the final composition of the new PSC group.
There is the matter involving promotions to senior leadership positions in the Guyana Police Force. Then there are barely muted suspicions of political intrigue aimed at rearranging the expected order of those believed in line for elevation to the next level.
All of this is being closely watched, and the howls, perhaps not unreasonable of politicisation of the GPF are held barely in abeyance. There is keen interest from numerous quarters in how all of this is handled through who gets named to move up; who gets bypassed or marginalised; and who gets put out to the pasture.
There is vigilance for placeholders, and watchfulness for the unduly compliant, especially those coming with known baggage. Thus, this particular action, or involvement, of the incoming PSC, must robust in credibility.
In this country, different political philosophies are at work on the content and implementation of law enforcement policies, processes, and practices. Also, different political histories grace the stewardship of the GPF in this land. Too many times, and without question, this protective bulwark has been misused and motivated for the worst possible ends.
A strong hand, a clean guiding hand, and an unburdened mind are what must be brought to bear to reverse the shortcomings of prior years, which have brought about the greatest unease in the longsuffering populace. The citizens of this country need and deserve a break.
There has to be something on which they can find agreement; and there is nothing better to produce that boost than a professionally functioning and results-oriented police establishment. This begins with an insightful PSC.
This would bring comfort.
It was raised not too long ago that the commissioners of the Guyana Elections Commission should come from a nonpolitical pool. But how and who is easier in the contemplation than in the realisation.
Regardless of the near insurmountable heights involved, if this nonpartisan ideal can be hypothesized (and it is that), then surely the next steps must commence with endeavouring untiringly to bridge the difference between words and postures, and what gives intellectual satisfaction, through insistent pressure on decision-makers to turn away from the old and failed, and commit towards what is undeniably beneficial in the long term.
This has to be essayed and introduced into the PSC; the power of clear and clean purpose would reach far and near. Further, an activist PSC could be felt deep within the police force, and can be an agent of change, institutional mindsets and resistances notwithstanding.
And for the long awaited PSC to be a significant vibrant entity, one that is not be meddled with, representative presences must come from places such as anticorruption watchdogs, or the church, or the Bar Association.
Great care should be taken to identify truly upstanding people, who possess what is required to deliver in a pinch.
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