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First SWAT team told to respect human rights

The Emergence Group’s, Dan Waddington presenting a certificate to one of the SWAT team graduates

The country’s first Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) unit has graduated from its first phase of training and the police administration has called on the group to maintain a good public image and respect human rights.

The group of highly trained men have been undergoing training by overseas firm , The Emergence Group (TEG) .

Sporting a conspicuous grey uniform, the team graduated yesterday at the Guyana Police Force’s , Eve Leary headquarters and outgoing Police Commissioner , Leroy Brummel told members of the group that they should maintain its self- discipline as well commitment towards upholding basic human rights.

According to Brummel,” nobody must speak of this unit of committing heinous things “, as he implored the ranks to upkeep the training techniques garnered from their trainers. “The team has a good working relationship with the trainers”, he noted adding that he and other members of the force’s top brass have been in tuned with the progress made by the ranks ever since their training commenced in January of their year.

Brummel , whose term as Top Cop comes to an end in 5 days , also told the group that they should be prepared for hoaxes , noting that,” persons may want to put something out to see you will react”. He said however, that the team will only be called upon in cases of high risk situations or as a situation may warrant.

Dan Waddington of TEG, told the gathering that he has had the privilege of working with the police force on revising curriculum in the past and so he was familiar with the police’s training operations. Against this backdrop, he said that the initial phase of training sets the stage of the force ‘s development of the special unit . He added that he has read media reports on how persons in the public domain view a SWAT team being installed in the GPF.” It’s unfortunate that there is a misunderstanding of the team and its purpose to protect the people of Guyana”, he said. He assured that that this newest addition to the force will add to the professional image of the men in uniform.

The officers are trained in medical and tactical combat training among other aspects of specialty areas . Dan Stridd , the team leader and trainer stated that , “the main purpose of a well- trained SWAT team is to save lives”, adding that they understand the principle of close-corner combat .”They know the difference between covering an concealing, dominating a room, eliminating a threat”. He said that the ranks are also familiar with many sophisticated actions which they can all put into action as a team.
Home Affairs Minister, Clement Rohee told the gathering that yesterday’s event was a historic one where the police force is concerned. He said that the members of the public may have expectations of the group , as he elaborated on criticisms which the police often face by members of the public as well as the media.
“I think the criticisms that are unleased on law enforcement officers is unwarranted”,adding that there are others ways in which persons can have their voices heard in criticising the police, such as constructive recommendations or proposals .
According to Rohee,the SWAT team will further enhance the image of the force . “I believe that any new component of the GPF raises the prestige and esteem of this organisation to a higher level must be welcomed, because it’s all about Guyana”,

He said that the government is pleased with the new development. “In the context of modernisation of the GPF , this SWAT team is a major factor”. He added that “I’m also pleased that the team is now poised to move to another level” adding that the Home Affairs Ministry stands ready to support every stage of the developmental process of the team and the force. “The civilian administration that is vested with the authority to overlook law enforcement in this country, stands ready,” he said.

One of the challenges that the team will face is upholding basic human rights, which he stated is pivotal within the ambit of attention of law enforcement. The Home Affairs Minister said he is happy that saving lives is one of the basic fundamentals of the team’s priorities. “Everyone has a right to life and if that is so and the SWAT team has been trained, that the life is safe, then I say nothing else but glory Hallejuia , praise the Lord”, Rohee remarked.

He also offered kind words to outgoing Commissioner Brummel. “Leroy Fitzpatrick Brummel is leaving this glorious organisation following the footsteps of his predecessors”, he said. He said that Brummel is leaving the force with a legacy and a team that enhances the image of the force.