THE Community Policing Organisation of Guyana (CPOG) has launched a series of activities that will coincide with its 38th anniversary of service to Guyana to be observed under the theme “Safeguarding communities through strengthened community policing leadership’.The anniversary celebration was launched by Home Affairs Minister, Clement Rohee, Wednesday, at the ministry’s boardroom with representatives from the various divisions.
Bartica, Region 7, has been selected as the host venue for several of the activities for this year’s celebration.
Minister Rohee noted that community policing in Guyana has come a far way since its establishment 38 years ago, with its activities being noted by many people, not only in Guyana, but also overseas. It is for this reason Guyana stands out as one of the few countries in the Caribbean as having a vibrant and active community policing body.
“The organisation at this point in time has had many challenges, but they have also had more opportunities as well, but I believe they have had more opportunities than challenges,” Minister Rohee said.
He added that the theme which speaks volumes about leadership was selected, recognising the need for stronger leadership on the part of those who are elected to hold executive positions, either at the divisional or national level.
On this note, it was pointed out by the minister that all of the Community Policing Groups (CPGs) are in the process of holding their elections, and this will culminate with the holding of the national CPG elections.
The Minister stated that it has been observed that CPGs countrywide have been very vibrant and active, and Guyanese have been supportive of their efforts.
Minister Rohee however sought to emphasise the fact that the CPG members are all volunteering their services ,which is something to be lauded.
“I believe this is a healthy development, because it is unusual to have persons volunteering to work in the security sector. Some are afraid to do so while others are not afraid, and particularly when they know they have the support of the residents where the groups exist”.
Had it not been for the CPGs, the minister said, the security sector would have been much poorer.
“The CPGs are very significant in our communities, we have 268 groups with 4244 members, we are not satisfied with this number, and we would like to see more groups and members, and that would give us a greater comfort zone in which citizens can live and work”.
Nevertheless, the Minister said, the Administration remains committed towards further development of these groups. “The government remains supportive of CPGs by providing budgetary support to all the groups in the country, providing for both materials and human resources for the effective functioning of each group.”
The Minister also commended the work of the CPOG, noting that the organisation has over the years, provided the Guyana Police Force with much needed assistance.
“They continue to be of tremendous help to the police in preventing and detecting crime;, CPG is not expected to engage criminals in armed combat, as they play a different role, and the police are distinct from CPG having been trained to engage armed criminals who seek to engage in confrontation with police”.
Meanwhile, among the activities listed to mark the 38th anniversary celebration are a church service which will be held tomorrow at the Bartica Regatta pavilion and a youth symposium and live call in television programme with a panel to discuss issues pertinent to community policing. There will also be the anniversary parade on March 8, which will be held in Bartica, with the march heading to the Bartica Community Centre ground for a grand rally.
The curtain will come down on the anniversary celebration with a Police Band concert, which is slated for March 15.
Community policing in Guyana began in 1976 with the objective to harness the energies of willing members of communities across Guyana in support of the work of the police towards achieving a crime-free society.
The formation of this organisation was also done with the intention of the group being responsive, together with the police, to the needs of the communities in respect of the necessity to maintain law and order. To this end, CPGs were established in all of the Police Divisions in Guyana, with a view to ensuring crime prevention at all levels. (GINA)