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By Dale Andrews Within recent times the Guyana Police Force has come under the microscope. As the premier law enforcement agency tasked with public safety and security, it is evident that the Force is plagued by a gamut of internal issues, not least the recent fatal shootings involving its members.At present the force is grappling with the fallout from the fatal shooting of three Linden men. This is the main subject of a commission of inquiry currently underway.DAMEON BELGRAVEAdded to this,Wholesale Jerseys China, is the shooting of Shaquille Grant of Agricola for which three cops have been charged with murder. And more recently,Wholesale Authentic Jerseys, there has been the fatal shooting of Dameon Belgrave by some ranks, outside a crowded city nightspot.All of this has placed the Guyana Police Force under a cloud and begs for an explanation as to what training and intelligence are imparted into the ranks that are mandated to protect citizens.While all of the transgressions are not confined to a particular department of the Guyana Police Force, the Tactical Services Unit appears to be in the limelight, given the roll they perform in the maintenance of law and order.The unit is usually the most heavily armed and the ranks are trained to deal with,Cheap NHL Jerseys, in most cases, violent crimes and riots.Many see this unit as being made up of the ‘bad eggs’ of the Force.Some years ago Professor David Fraser from the California State University, while visiting Guyana and having linked with members of the Guyana Police Force, had offered to do a series of lectures for the senior leadership of the organization.In one of his lectures, he stated, “I have formed the impression that you guys recruit into the ranks,Wholesale NFL Jerseys, persons because you want to give them a job and not necessarily that they can do the job.”Ever so often the police have been forced to place a number of its ranks before the courts for other minor transgression that were basically committed out of ignorance or utter disregard for the oath they took.Renowned social psychologist Sigmund Freud in his book “Understanding human behaviour for effective police work” posited decades ago, that in times to come the policeman, firearm, baton, handcuffs and uniform will no longer be sufficient to address the issue of crime and criminality. There would be an increasing need for the policeman to improve his intellectual armament. Failing to do this, he would be performing mere mechanical movements”- the policeman will become like a machine; you press a button and he stops or moves, as you wish.The much vaunted Disciplined Forces Commission of Inquiry in its report which was submitted in December 2004, surmised under the caption ‘recruitment’, that “the number of ranks in the officer corps are there with the power of rank as against the power of intelligence.”All of these tie into the challenges facing law and order in Guyana.This newspaper was reliably informed that for some time now, the Tactical Services Unit has been involved in the direct recruitment to fill its ranks.The TSU also benefits from manpower from the Felix Austin Police College.“Many of those recruits, while not dissimilar to those recruited to those from the training school, are confined to the TSU where they undergo training in keeping with the mandate of the TSU.”SHAQUILLE GRANTMany of these ranks are young, and being confined to that environment where they only know about guard and sentry, and patrol, they are ill-equipped to deal with the average police functions.In fact, they lack the human relations skills vital to law enforcement, yet they carry “big guns” and engage with everybody as they would engage the common criminal.No wonder there are so many allegations that the Tactical Services Unit ranks, who have an anti crime function, are now the traffic police and everyday there are complaints of them “shaking down” somebody.There was a time when most police ranks wanted to be a detective, not so now.The widely held view within the force is that most recruits are expressing a desire to be part of the TSU.The fact is that they can have specialised training and will be allowed to carry guns.Rumours are circulating that some members of the TSU under the sanctioning of the senior level of the force are providing security for private businesses.This had prompted Home Affairs Minister Clement Rohee to remark some time ago that policemen are earning more than one salary.A senior police officer has indicated that with all that is happening within the force right now, another senior officers’ course would have been one of the best courses to organise at this time.This newspaper understands that a lot of effort was expended in preparing the programme and selecting the participants.However, Kaieteur News has been informed that the programme would have to wait until next year to facilitate those who have to go on leave.It was Minister Rohee who had slashed the annual leave of senior officers,Wholesale NBA Jerseys China, citing the need to have them around in case of unforeseen circumstances.“Because of the extant circumstances, it was considered prudent to facilitate the officers’ annual leave in tranches during the year,Jerseys Wholesale, in order to ensure that an adequate number of senior management is available at short notice to address any unforeseen or unplanned events.”With all that is happening now the question can therefore be asked, is this period not such a time?Given that the course would have been for a one month duration and with inputs from the University of Guyana already finalized, one would have thought that it would have been a golden opportunity for the Force to “regroup and retool” in order to bring back some form of professionalism.SHEMROY BOUYEAAmidst all of this, is it any wonder that the current conduct of the officers in particular, who are before the Commission of Inquiry into the Linden killings, seem to be consistent with the current psyche of the Force.The evidence given by these officers and their marked inability to recall even the most basic of information is clearly indicative that there are many things wrong with the Guyana Police Force.Time and again we hear the words, “it is time to go back to basics”. Is anyone listening?
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