Training of members of the Special Weapons and Tactics Unit (SWAT) team by a United States (US) company is expected to begin later this month, Home Affairs Minister Clement Rohee announced on Friday.
The Home Affairs Minister said an organisational needs assessment for the unit has been completed while actual training would begin in mid-January. Rohee said the unit would “confront special types of violent crimes.”
Deputy Police Commissioner, Seelall Persaud told Demerara Waves Online News (www.demwaves.com) that 25 members including the Officer-in-Charge would make up the SWAT team.
Delivering a progress report on the security sector under the theme “Citizens at the Centre of our Safety and Security Strategy, he said the Washington DC- headquartered The Emergence Group (TEG) and the Guyana Police Force (GPF) would be conducting the training of SWAT members. Government is spending US$796,987 to hire TEG to train SWAT team.
Among those listening to the report were heads of the police force, prison service and the defence force as well as top American and European diplomats.
Rohee also announced that steps are being taken to boost the air and maritime wings of the Guyana Police Force. He said several patrols boats have been purchased and the aeronautical engineers have been identified for training.
In addition to the rehabilitation of the Marine Wing Headquarters of the police force, four aluminum boats and one 500HP work boat were procured at an overall cost of GUY$64,926,104.
Two training courses for Coxswains for command of Territorial Sea Patrol Boats were conducted from August 1 to 30 and November 16 to 29 at the Guyana Police Force Officers Training Centre.
The Marine Wing has been tasked with providing marine enforcement and general assistance to mariners within the riverain areas and territorial sea, responding to emergency calls in relation to crimes on the waterways and rendering assistance during search and rescue operations on the waterways.
“These measures will go a far way to ensure that the water transport and human resource capacity of the GPF Marine Wing to combat piracy and other crimes committed in our territorial sea and the internal waterways of Guyana,” said Rohee.
The Home Affairs Ministry also announced that 14 applicants from the police force were interviewed and identified for training at the Aeronautical Engineering School at Ogle, East Coast Demerara. They are expected to commence training in 2014.
He said efforts are underway to develop a structure for the Aeronautical Branch for force and purchase one fixed wing aircraft for its operation.