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More SWAT teams coming

Members of the newly-trained SWAT Team of the Guyana Police Force (News Source photo)

Government has asked the Guyana Police Force to set up mini Special Weapons And Tactics (SWAT) teams across the country.

The first indication of this came from President Donald Ramotar in his address to police officers at their annual conference which ends on Saturday.

Home Affairs Minister, Clement Rohee reiterated government’s desire for decentralised SWAT operations when he addressed the conference in a closed-door session away from the glare of the media.

He said he endorsed the Guyanese leader’s desire for more SWAT teams to be present in the force’s several divisions.

“To examine the possibilities of establishing on a Divisional basis Teams similar to the principal SWAT Unit currently being established at the central level,” said Rohee whose speech was disseminated to the media.

The first team of policemen, who make up the SWAT team, last month completed their training by the United States-based “The Emergence Group”.

Trained in medical and tactical close-corner combat training among other aspects of specialty areas, the SWAT team has been charged with respecting human rights while at the same time getting the job done whenever necessary.

The Home Affairs Minister also endorsed the call by President Ramotar for “integrity testing” of certain senior levels of the police force and new law enforcement agencies to be established. He noted that already narcotics police are subjected to integrity testing to ensure that unit is “clean”.

Government has also charged the police with resolving as far as possible the backlog of unsolved crimes and addressing the low rate of convictions, ensure police ranks attend court when they are summoned to do so.

The Ramotar administration has also urged the police force t weed out corruption from “top to the bottom” and deal “condignly with ranks found guilty of bringing the force into disrepute.

Other tasks by government include the development of specialists to tackle new forms of organised crime and the strengthening of a working relationship and collaboration between the police and community policing groups to ensure greater citizen security.