— several interviewed for posts of police commissioner, deputy
By Leroy Smith
EIGHT assistant commissioners of police (ACPs) were last week interviewed and wrote an assessment test as President David Granger commences the search for a substantive commissioner of police, as well as four deputy commissioners.
The Guyana Chronicle was reliably informed that on Wednesday last, three very senior government operatives, inclusive of the minister of public security and the attorney general were part of the interviewing panel.
The eight assistant commissioners of police were first part of a general briefing, followed by a test which they were mandated to write and an interview process followed.
The process was done at the Ministry of the Presidency and all the assistant commissioners were required to spend a minimum of 15 and no more than 20 minutes in the interview room, this publication learnt.
Assistant Commissioners David Ramnarine, Clifton Hicken, Leslie James, Lyndon Alves, Marlon Chapman, Paul Williams, Nigel Hoppie and the lone female, Maxine Graham were those who were interviewed.
Contrary to rumours in some sections of society, the interviews were not conducted by any member of the Guyana Defence Force (GDF), however, the secretary to the Defence Board was reportedly the person who took notes during the sessions.
This publication was also informed that the assistant commissioners were informed that the process for the selection has now commenced.
President David Granger is constitutionally required to consult with Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo on the appointment of the top cop.
Previously, there was no search committee established for this process, neither were the prospective candidates interviewed.
Observers say this is another effort of the administration to bring transparency to the process. Under the People’s Progressive Party (PPP) administration, then President Bharrat Jagdeo had appointed, now deceased, Henry Greene to the top post despite fierce rejection by several sections of the society and the diplomatic community, including the US.
Greene’s US visas was cancelled the same day he assumed control of the force.
Speaking under the condition of anonymity, a senior police officer described the new process as refreshing and welcoming, contending that it allows a fit and proper person to be selected for the post.
Currently, the Guyana Police Force (GPF) does not have any substantive deputy commissioners of police. Those acting in that position are Crime Chief Paul Williams, Operations Head Clifton Hicken and Administration Head David Ramnarine, who is also the acting top cop.
The fourth deputy commissioner of police office is that of the Special Branch but that unit is now being headed by a superintendent of police.
President David Granger is on record as saying that only someone who is fit and proper and not corrupt, should be the next commissioner of police.
Back in February when he addressed the opening of the Police Officers’ Conference, President Granger said lawless policemen have no place in a lawful Force.
He told the gathering that a Force which is contaminated by corruption cannot ensure the security of citizens.
“Service in the Force must be based on values and commitment, competence and incorruptibility. Police reform is not a political gimmick. It goes to the heart of law enforcement,” the President had said.
He added that he was confident that with the implementation of those reforms,the Force will be better able to ensure citizens’ safety.