Police Force working with private sector to build community relations

Deputy Commissioner (ag) Hicken

In an effort to improve the relationship between the citizenry and the Guyana Police Force (GPF), Deputy Commissioner, Operations (ag), Clifton Hicken says the force is working with a five-point strategic plan.

One of the points focuses on building partnerships with civil society to create safer communities countrywide. The senior officer said this is an ongoing effort. Under the initiative, over 100 hampers were distributed on Saturday to the Riverview community, just aback the Ruimveldt Police Station.

Deputy Commissioner, Operations (ag) Clifton Hicken and Sub-Divisional Commander with community leaders and representatives of the private sector

 “A part of the partnership is for us to create an atmosphere where members of the public, members of the corporate sector and civil society generally come on board with the police to develop initiatives to create a safer environment and community.”   

He pointed out that similar exercises were conducted in Albouystown, Tiger Bay, Caneville and Samatta Point.  The hampers were donated by Food for The Poor Inc., Hopkinson Security Service and Home Safe Security Service.

Mr. Hicken initiated similar outreaches to various communities while he was commander of ‘A’ division. Now that he has ascended to Deputy Commissioner, he is assuring the public that those initiatives will form part of a structural arrangement throughout the regions.

Deputy Commissioner, Operations (ag) Clifton Hicken interacting with residents of Riverview

“Building the bridge with the community is very very important to us and so we can win back the trust of the public. So yes, this is very important to the Guyana Police Force in terms of capacity building with the public and professionalism and it’s a part of our strategic plan so it mandatory.”

Mr. Hicken said once an assessment is done of identified communities by the commanders and sub-divisional commanders, a system will be put in place so that unemployed persons will have an opportunity to gain employment with private sector companies, that are on board with the initiative.  

DPI also spoke with Harold Hopkinson, the owner of Hopkinson Security Service, who highlighted the importance of law enforcement officers having good relations with the communities they police. He noted that the private sector has a role to play in helping communities to be safer and productive.

Harold Hopkinson distributing hampers in Riverview

“It is very important for the community to see that the Guyana Police Force and the private sector are not always taking but we can also give. We have been giving and giving and this will not be the last we are going to continue giving.”

Mr. Hopkinson also noted that persons should be able to gain employment through these community outreaches.

“I don’t care where people are from, as long as they are between the ages of 24 and 55, honest and drug free people, they got a job. We are probably the highest paying persons in security, the average take home pay is 140,000 per month.”

Additionally, Mr. Hicken said the police presence in communities is aimed at helping citizens to see the police as allies.