ACTING Commissioner of Police, Mr. Leroy Brumell said the gap existing in relations between the Guyana Police Force (GPF) and members of the public is no secret.
This gap, he said, must be bridged and the only possible way that can be
achieved is when police officers approach issues they confront in a professional manner.
Addressing members of the GPF as they gathered on Friday to be rewarded for their performances at the recently concluded GPF-organised shooting competition, Brumell told ranks that the Force has been receiving much criticism for the manner in which ranks have been discharging their firearms.
He spoke of the Agricola incident involving Shaquille Grant, and the shooting death of Dameon Belgrave at the White Castle Fish Shop, in advising ranks that it was important that they take criticism in good faith.
He explained that criticism should work as motivation irrespective of its source. “When criticisms are levelled at you, you need to take it like big men and women,” the commissioner advised.
Brumell noted that the Force had recently been taking a lot of bashing, but said ranks must take bashing of the Force like professionals. He told officers to take the bashing, get up and brush it off, and move on with their lives.
Brumell reminded the Force that its work must go on despite the amount of criticism and bashing coming its way. He said the Force has a job to do and that job must be done without favour or ill-will.
“The job of the Guyana Police Force is to serve each and every (resident) of the country and ensure that (each resident is) protected. The Police (Force) also has the task (of) offering and ensuring that it provides lawful support to the government of the day, again without favour and/or ill-will,” the commissioner added on Friday.
Ranks were told that problems they face in the Guyana Police Force were not major ones, and can all be corrected once the right approach is adopted. Ranks were also informed that other police forces across the globe were also having problems which they confronted from time to time.
Deputy Police Commissioner Leroy Brumell has been Guyana’s acting Commissioner of Police since earlier this year. He told his ranks that they need to be strong, and show determination in confronting situations. He said that, as commissioner of police and head of the force, he would continue to be strong; and he urged his ranks to follow suit.
Brumell said he would not be like other persons who tendered their resignations and buckled under pressure in the face of hardship. He said the way persons deal with adversities determine their worth. He told officers that as long as he is strong, he wanted the rest of them to remain strong and resolute to fight situations that arise.
He recalled the recent protest action at Agricola, when policemen and women exercised great restraint and displayed true professionalism in the face of taunts and acts of provocation; and he reminded his ranks that a duly constituted Commission of Inquiry was presently looking into the issues of July in Linden.
During a separate interview with the media, the police commissioner said that based on investigations into the incidents at Agricola two weeks ago, the police have found that many of the persons who were part of the protest were not from Agricola.
He said the police have already begun working to improve relations with the young people of Agricola; and on Thursday, that community received some sporting gear from the GPF’s ‘A’ Division. Additionally, the GPF has sent one of its contractors into the area to begin executing work on one of the schools.
Brumell said he was sure the Linden Commission of Inquiry was taking note of the situation. He reminded officers that the one thing they should always be cognisant of is how to deal with situations in a manner that does not agitate those expected to be affected.
The top cop explained to his ranks that the force came in for criticisms for not using shields in the Linden protest, and when shields were employed at Agricola, there were criticisms. Brumell said he was even described as weak because of how the Force handled the situation at Agricola.