Police’s community relations programme to spearhead youth training
The fostering of youth development across the country is a key objective of the Guyana Police Force’s (GPF) recently re-established community relations department.
The department will target schools and communities where youths and young adults exhibit violent deviant behaviours through responsible preventative policing strategies, utilising proactive and reactive law enforcement, training and community engagements.
Under the community relations programme, youths will also receive sponsorship to return to or continue school.
The GPF has partnered with the Ministry of Labour’s – Board of Industrial Training (BIT) to offer technical and vocational training for interested youths.
In a recent interview with DPI, Deputy Commissioner (ag) Calvin Brutus underscored that youth drop outs are often caused by lack of financial support. He said the programme will fully stand the responsibility to ensure youths receive an education.
“All the youths that we will be sponsoring to go back to school, we look entirely at all the uniform, transportation and the meals. We [GPF] have done our analysis over the years, and we recognise that many students stay away from programmes, drop out of school because that additional support of having a meal, having money to pay transportation was being a challenge for them.”
Persons interested in partaking in the community relations programme can visit their neighbourhood police station and register. Parents with underage children can fill the available consent form to register.
To ensure participants stay in, the programme the GPF maintains a register. Once a participant is absent consecutively, ranks working in the specific community will check on the youth, and an investigation into the cause will be launched. If there is an issue, the ranks will address the matter within their authority to remedy the situation. In addition, the officers will meet with the parents if they notice a pattern of deviant behaviour in the youth.
The GPF is currently offering scholarships to youths from a number of communities including Leopold Street, Caneville and Sophia. Deputy Commissioner (ag) Brutus said “we [GPF] are very eager to help as many as we can in our initiative,” as he announced that the force is actively working to formalise and streamline the programme by the new September academic term.
Additionally, the GPF will be launching a ‘young cadet scheme school’ to nurture youths who recently completed high school. The programme will help youths select careers in the force or harness skills to access any kind of occupation of their choice.
The school will offer CSEC at the various community centres to provide persons the opportunity to access training free of cost. Transportation, snacks and all the necessary tools will be provided to participants to ensure they are comfortable to effectively undertake the programme.
The school was also tailored to facilitate persons who lack the necessary certification to join the force.
Meanwhile, GPF is currently examining documentation for the launch of the ‘Guyana Police Force Community Foundation Incorporated’.