One day after not even being considered, in a high level shakeup of the Guyana Police Force, former Top Cop (ag) David Ramnarine has called it a day.
Ramnarine, known for bluntness, calling out rogue cops ever so often, said he is proceeding on a much-deserved annual leave, and will be contemplating his options.
His options in the police force were made clear Thursday after the Ministry of the Presidency announced that Commander of ‘D’ Division, Leslie James, was chosen to be the new commissioner.
James is also a former head of the Special Branch, the intelligence division of the police force, and the Criminal Investigations Department.
Also approved to assist James, were four Deputy Commissioners – Lyndon Alves, Maxine Graham, Nigel Hoppie and Paul Williams.
Ramnarine was among several persons interviewed and given ‘Grade Six-type’ tests. However, he was not shortlisted in the final list that was sent to Opposition Leader, Bharrat Jagdeo recently.
Following “consultations” Thursday at State House, the Ministry of the Presidency named James as the new police chief. He was sworn that afternoon.
Ramnarine was not there at the State House ceremony. It is unclear if he was invited.
Jagdeo later said that President, during the consultations, did not immediately give details for his decision, but said there were “specific reasons” for not choosing Ramnarine.
Yesterday, Ramnarine would not delve too much into what has transpired, as “what is done is done”. He said that he has extended congratulations to the new commissioner and three deputies, and he will be doing the same with the fourth one shortly.
He said that he has some well-deserved annual leave due and will be proceeding on same.
While he did not immediately say whether he has resigned, he had this to say: “Whatever has happened is not the end of my life and the world…”
Ramnarine also said that decision was not totally unexpected and he had been preparing for it since last year. He hinted of certain matters that arose that affected his possibilities, but did not want to talk about it. He insisted that serving the police force and Guyana has indeed been “very satisfactory” and it was a “pleasure”.
Ramnarine is confident that the opportunities to continue in new areas will open up and he will be “contemplating” these options.
Jagdeo had disclosed Thursday that he was told by the President that Chairman of the Police Service Commission, Paul Slowe, had recused himself when it came to the recommendation of certain names.
Jagdeo himself did not offer his thoughts on his feelings about Ramnarine, but made it clear that he knows nothing “adverse” about the new top cop.
Indeed, his party, the People’s Progressive Party, issued a statement, offering support.
During his first press conference for the year yesterday, President Granger, explained the selection process.
The search for a police chief is regulated by the Constitution of Guyana and would stem from the appointment of a functioning Public Service Commission, and a member of that body, who is also part of the Police Service Commission.
The latter is which meets and deliberates on the candidates.
According to Granger, he found the recommendations about the new top cop from the Police Service Commission to be “reasonable”.
Making it clear that he was not about to disclose what the recommendations were, the president noted that the Commission would have had access to files of the police officers, going back decades. He said that the PSC conducted the interviews.
Granger said he relied heavily on the recommendations in making his choice and felt justified.
He believed that the Chairman of the PSC, Slowe, would likely feel justified too.
Yesterday, the new top cop met with officers of the force’s Performance Group and outlined several key areas, aimed at improving better relationships with both members of the Police Force and the general public.
The meeting which was held in the Commissioner’s Conference Room, “was very much informative and everyone having extended congratulatory remarks to the Top Cop and his Deputies, gave assurance of their continued support and commitment,” the police said in a social media post.
The new commissioner said Thursday that he is clear about his mandate and will be pursuing a stronger, intelligence-driven police force.
Sources said that the selection process for a new top cop involved the President, Attorney General Basil Williams and Minister of Public Security, Khemraj Ramjattan.
The president reportedly even was present during the tests, involving several subject areas, that were administered to the candidates.
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