Police Commissioner Seelall Persaud retires. Who will take over permanently?

Last Updated on Friday, 23 February 2018, 9:59 by Denis Chabrol

Police Commissioner, Seelall Persaud.

Police Commissioner, Seelall Persaud, who has been on and off the job in recent months, will be going into retirement from next Wednesday.

A farewell parade is scheduled in his honour on February 28, 2018  at the Police Sports Club Ground, Eve Leary.

Persaud said he would be handing over responsibilities to Assistant Police Commissioner, David Ramnarine or the next senior officer on duty by March 5, 2018 after which he would proceed on pre-retirement leave until the end of April when he would officially exit that law enforcement agency.

In recent months, Persaud has been mostly off the job, having ordered to take several months leave at a time and more recently granted special leave until last month when he resumed duty. A Commission of Inquiry report into an alleged assassination plot against President David Granger had recommended Persaud’s removal or dismissal.

Ramnarine is currently on leave and he is due to resume duty on March 1, 2018.

Well-placed sources said government prefers Assistant Police Commissioner, Paul Williams to take over the helm of the force with Assistant Commissioner, Nigel Hoppie as his second in command.

Assistant Police Commissioner, Paul Williams.

Already, President David Granger has expressed concern about the type of disciplinary action that is being taken against officers of the force. “Transferring a corrupt officer from one branch to another or posting him from one division to another or promoting him or demoting him from one rank to another cannot guarantee change he will change his wicked ways,” Granger recently told the 2018 Police Officers’ Conference.

Disciplinary action and the appointment of senior officers of the Guyana Police Force from the rank of Inspector to Deputy Commissioner is done by a Police Service Commission which has since expired and is yet to be reconstituted.

Virtually all of the transfers in recent months have taken place during periods when Assistant Commissioner David Ramnarine acted as Police Commissioner.

Police Commissioner, David Ramnarine

In October 2017, the Head of the Narcotics Unit of the Guyana Police Force, Superintendent Wayne DeHearte was transferred to Berbice after a quantity of cocaine went missing. Also, in October the Head of the Special Weapons and Tactics Unit, Deputy Superintendent of Police, Lonsdale Withrite was transferred after his service firearm and vehicle were allegedly stolen while he was on the Industry Seawall, East Coast Demerara. In December 2017,  the new Head of the SWAT Unit,  Deputy Superintendent, MotieDookie was also reassigned to a division.

Following a Commission of Inquiry into the alleged plot to assassinate President Granger, Senior Superintendent Wendell Blanhum was transferred from the post of Head of the Criminal Investigations Department to Deputy Commander of ‘A’ Division. The Commission had found, among other things, that he lacked command experience.