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Large number of Police Cadets line up for promotion

Assistant Police Commissioner David Ramnarine (standing) delivers a progress report on the GPF’s implementation of Disciplined Forces Commission recommendations

A decision by Former President Bharrat Jagdeo to increase the intake of cadets into the Guyana Police Force (GPF) has left most of them languishing in the waiting line for promotion.

Delivering a presentation on the force’s progress in implementing recommendations by the 2004 Disciplined Forces Commission (DFC), Assistant Commissioner David Ramnarine said he was aware of discussions to resolve the issue.

“The establishment of the Assistant Sups (Superintendents) needs to be reviewed. It is a work in progress. I am privy to a discussion that a lot of thinking is now being involved and some discussion is going on,” he said.

Recalling that Former President Bharrat Jagdeo had decided to increase the complement of cadets to strengthen the force’s middle management, Ramnarine said the law enforcement agency that usually caters for 10 cadets was now saddled with 47 from three batches.

He explained that once the Cadets are eligible and suitable, they are supposed to be appointed Assistant Superintendents. “The upward bracket has also got to be addressed…
The establishment of the Assistant Sups also needs to be reviewed. This is a work in progress,” he said.

Sources further explained that nothing was wrong with having so many cadets but if there were no changes to the number of Assistant Superintendents, promotions would be stymied.

The DFC recommends that the three cadet schemes be examined to determine whether any changes should be made and what should be done for training and placing them on a regular basis. The commission report also recommends that cadets be recruited from secondary schools and the University of Guyana.

Meanwhile, Assistant Commissioner Ramnarine revealed that the GPF’s manpower was short by about 600 to 700 persons, a situation that was taxing because of a new focus on crime and laws that have been enacted in recent times.

He noted that of an estimated 500 persons recruited at any given time, between 200 to 250 leave for various reasons. One of the issues that the GPF and the Police Association have been grappling with is the low salaries starting at about GUY$45,000.  “A key aspect of this whole thing is remuneration. No longer is it always going to love for the job. It’s got to be what’s in it for me,” he said.

In an effort to boost the number of men and women on active duty, Ramnarine said members of the Special Constabulary guard service are being converted into regular members of the police force once they meet the criteria.

He, however, noted that the laws would have to be amended to allow for certain duties to be performed by civilians. The GPF is also relying on Rural Constables and members of the Community Policing Groups to suppress and tackle crime.