Regional joint support teams part of, not parallel to Police Force
– President Ali
His Excellency, Dr. Mohamed Irfaan Ali says the regional joint support teams are part of the Guyana Police Force and not parallel or separate from it.
Dr. Ali was at the time responding to questions posed to him during a virtual press conference on Monday.
“The regional joint support teams cannot and will never be parallel to the Guyana Police Force. The Police Force is actively involved in this regional support team.
“What is the difference is that now, you have a broadened inter- agency unit that would assist in crime-fighting. It is not parallel. It is not separate. It is part of.”
The President said the establishment of those teams is necessary to tackle evolving, more sophisticated forms of crime, which will require competencies which span multiple institutions.
“So, the agency has officers from intelligence agencies, from drug enforcement, from the police, from the joint services, it’s an integrated approach.
“It brings varied skillsets together. The unit is highly trained and will be highly trained to respond to various security challenges. We have to build our capacity and that is what is being done here.”
The joint support teams were first discussed in Parliament in June, when the Government sought and received a supplementary appropriation to fund their operationalisation.
The approved supplementary provision for the Guyana Defence Force included $394,391,923 for current and $318,662,251 for capital expenditures. Implementation commenced in April.
Minister of Parliamentary Affairs and Governance, Gail Teixeira, MP, who faced questions about the initiative in Parliament, said it is a new initiative through the Guyana Defence Board to increase access to information and intelligence sharing between agencies.
The Opposition had cast unwarranted aspersions on the Government’s intentions for the funds. This was accompanied by misinformation on social media, which claimed the funds would be used to set up “Death Squads and Black Clothes groups.” A Facebook post attributed to Member of Parliament Annette Ferguson was quickly condemned by Minister Teixeira and Minister of Home Affairs, Robeson Benn MP, as “malicious and delusional.”