Dec 03, 2020 Editorial
Kaieteur News – Guyana needs a vibrant Police Force, to speak to commonsense. At the individual and community level, citizens, be they urbanites or villagers yearn for an institution that they can trust, in which to place their confidence.
Like everything else, policies and procedures are encouraging things. The same can be said about ethics, training, and modernization, and many other elements that are left unmentioned, with the understanding that they combine to speak to the inspiring, the dependable. But though they go a far way, and represent much, those numerous components and efforts only mean something when there is the quality of people – in the ranks, on the streets, in the low, middle, and high offices, and carrying stripes or stars (or nothing) – to make all those tried and true ingredients come alive in the delivery of what is honest and unwaveringly principled.
We think it is worth repeating: all the documents about how to go about the various challenging circumstances and contingencies, and all the training and counselling and grooming, only come to mean something of deep substance, when there is the caliber of men and women that are true to job, duty, constitution and calling. If not, then the rest mean nothing and what Guyana would have in its national law enforcement agency, is name only. It would be one that given the passage of time, be exposed for what it is at the heart, as distrusted by most.
However, if there are only a handful of high-caliber officers present, then this society is in for a lot of anguish, more trouble than it cares to know or could possibly imagine. For if literally a few, then they would be too few to make the kind of enduring difference for better that is so desperately needed. Ask any citizen, and the result is more likely than not going to be that there is the belief and firm conclusion that there are only a few of such sterling inspirational presence in the Guyana Police Force. At the risk of great understatement, that has to be concerning. That is, a world of ominous and sinister criminal darkness lurks for Guyanese who seek to live a law-abiding existence, who wish to feel secure and actually are because they have protectors in uniform that are there in a line of defence against whatever may come.
What citizens need is the comfort that comes from the assurance that here are not just a few dedicated and untouchable officers of the law, but that there are many and in the great bulk of their known, feared and respected presences. They would overwhelm those who dare to think on the side of erring through willfully violating the law and responsibility vested in them the standards expected.
The faithful serve as role models and genuine observers of the way that things should be done, by how they conduct themselves and in projecting an aura that they will brook no breach by comrade or commander. However, for them to flourish, for the norms that should be for the benefit of citizens first and the Guyana Police Force itself next, there must be many of them. There must be more than there is believed to be present in the ranks and higher. There must be that nucleus on which to build, from which to project police power and authority for good.
The good we have not had for a long time to the extent that would stir to a greater appreciation of the efforts of our police. The latest in the line to come before the public is of something about a large sum of public monies (G$150M, to be precise) that is under review for the worst of reasons. To put differently, there is this situation where reportedly senior officers of the law are the ones, who are thought to have acted on the other side of the law.
Not unreasonably, watchers and the fearful, ponder what this could mean in the street, where criminal cash have a powerful hold. What are the implications when there is corrupting money – easier and plentiful – separates law and justice from injustice and lawless? If the GPF is a shaky presence, then Guyana has only the crumbling.
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