A new Commissioner of Police will soon have to be appointed. The present Commissioner of Police has already had his farewell parade.
That parade was made sour because the Guyana Chronicle, opted to choose that day to carry a report which pointed out that the outgoing Commissioner had granted himself firearm licences.
Under the law, firearm licences are granted under the hand of the Commissioner of Police.
The departure of the Commissioner of Police creates a vacancy within that office. But who will be appointed first to act as Commissioner and then as substantive Commissioner?
Will seniority matter? Or will there be an attempt to place someone to act who is a favourite of the government?
The government has sent mixed signals in relation to who is likely to be its choice. Statements have been made to the effect that there are many persons who can perform the functions of Commissioner of Police?
But why such a statement when there is already, by seniority, a frontrunner, David Ramnarine? What reasons exist for not going along with the practice of seniority?
When the Chief of Staff of the Guyana Defence Force, Mark Phillips, retired; he was replaced by the next senior rank even though that rank only had a few months to serve. Again, when Phillips’s successor reached the age of retirement, the next senior officer, Brigadier Patrick West, assumed the post of Chief of Staff. He is far from retirement. His appointment brings some stability at the helm of the Guyana Defence Force.
David Ramnarine, like Patrick West, has many years ahead of him. Security of tenure, knowing that he is not about to retire soon, can bring stability to the helm of the Police Force, something that is needed to ensure the success of the reform process which the government says that it is instituting but which seems to be crawling slower than moving molasses.
But will the government opt for Ramnarine or does it have another candidate? There are already persons who are advocating for their choices of Commissioner. Will the government abandon the seniority precedent, which has informed all previous appointments of Commissioner of Police or will they try to block Ramnarine from the position of Commissioner of Police?
Unlike the position of Chancellor or Chief Justice, the President does not require the agreement of the Leader of the Opposition. He is merely required to have meaningful consultations with the Leader of the Opposition and the Chairman of the Police Service Commission, after that person would have consulted with the members of the Commission. The same applies for the appointment of someone as an acting Commissioner.
The government will face criticisms of racial discrimination if it bypasses Ramnarine for the acting appointment. He is next in line in seniority and the only non-African person in contention. To bypass him will lead to questions as to why this was done when all previous Commissioners over the past thirty years were appointed on the basis of seniority.
There have been suggestions that the government should advertise the position of Commissioner of Police since there is no legal compulsion for the person selected to be someone from inside of Guyana. This is also a possibility but that person can only be appointed after there have been consultations as provided for under the Constitution.
The government should avoid using the Guyana Police Force as a political football. It should ensure that there is no political jostling for the position of Commissioner. It should not give any of its lackeys any false hopes. It is always hard to keep politics out of the appointment and appointment by seniority has always been the way to ensure this.
It has been done in the Guyana Defence Force. It should be done within the Guyana Police Force. Ramnarine should be the front-runner.
Guyana needs stability in the Guyana Police Force. The imposition of someone from outside of the Force as Commissioner can create more problems than good. So too can the bypassing of Ramnarine who has indicated that he would like one day to become Commissioner.
But if it does not happen soon, it may not happen at all.
PNC demanding answers for smuggled chicken early Sunday morning after church!
Dec 06, 2023SportsMax – Kevin Sinclair was the star of day one of the deciding third unofficial “Test” between the West Indies “A” and South Africa “A” at the Manguang Oval in Bloemfontein...
Dec 06, 2023
Dec 06, 2023
Dec 06, 2023
Dec 06, 2023
Dec 06, 2023
Kaieteur News – Guyanese really need to mature and grow out of their backwoods, kowtowing mindset. Citizens of this... more
By Sir Ronald Sanders (The writer is Antigua and Barbuda’s Ambassador to the United States and the Organization of American... more
Freedom of speech is our core value at Kaieteur News. If the letter/e-mail you sent was not published, and you believe that its contents were not libellous, let us know, please contact us by phone or email.