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Brumell confirmed as Police Commissioner

GINA photo

President Donald Ramotar handing over the certificate of appointment to newly confirmed Commissioner of Police Leroy Brumell

As a tearful Leroy Brumell took the oath on Monday, confirming his appointment as Commissioner of the Guyana Police Force (GPF), President Donald Ramotar sought to clear the air on speculation about whether or not he had supported Brumell’s candidature.

“In 2012 Henry Greene (late Police Commissioner) demitted office as the Commissioner of Police. In accordance with the established procedures, I disclosed my intended choice of Mr. Leroy Brummell as his (Greene’s) successor … time elapsed and satisfaction with the performance of the force under his supervision grew,” President Ramotar said at the swearing in ceremony at the Office of the President.

Suggestions in the media that the Head of State who is Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces had favoured Crime Chief Seelall Persaud for the position were repudiated in a statement released by the Office of the President over the weekend.

The statement recalled a letter written by President Ramotar sent to Opposition leader David Granger, expressing his intention to confirm the then Acting Commissioner and a statutory meeting that followed October 3.

It was then that Granger gave his no objection, clearing the way for Brumell’s confirmation.

The appointment could have been much earlier had the process not been frustrated by delays in hosting meaningful consultation, according to President Ramotar. He also spoke of the political opposition’s “reviling” and “rejecting” security policies, and programmes that have been taken to the parliament for approval such as the Firearms Amendment Bill.

“Like the Amaila Falls project, the opposition’s posture lacks national support and has earned them the undying enmity of progressive Guyanese,” President Ramotar said in the presence of government officials and senior police officers.

Brumell’s appointment comes amidst heavy demands on the GPF to strengthen its resolve to tackle the ongoing battle against crime.

During his tenure as Acting Commissioner, Brumell said he had to confront many challenges, chief among them was the Commission of Inquiry into the deaths of three protestors in Linden last year April when the police was blamed for the shooting, but later exonerated after a British ballistics expert was called in to conduct investigations.

At the same time, security sector reforms have been the most comprehensive and unparallelled, President Ramotar believes. In his recent meeting with the top brass of the force, the Head of State conveyed to them his satisfaction with their commitment and resolve to fight crime and violence in Guyana.

Brummell vowed to do all in his power to serve and protect citizens “and to take back our streets and communities from the criminals.” In a task that requires collective efforts, he appealed for the support of all.

“No man is an island. In short, I am asking for support,” Brummell said as he thanked the Head of State and all others responsible for his appointment.

“To the President… and other stakeholders who saw it fit to validate my appointment to the post of Commissioner of Police, my heartfelt gratitude and assurance that your decision is not one that you will regret,” Brummell said.

For the many who criticise the GPF, the Police Commissioner who has served 36 years in the force, said “we can never please everyone, but I do promise to use the criticisms in a constructive way to assist the Force in becoming a better institution.”

As preparations get underway to establish a Special Weapons And Tactics (SWAT) team to fortify crime fighting efforts, the Police Commissioner said those appointed are current members of the GPF who have been thoroughly screened.