To ensure higher level of service…$158.4M Police Training Centre commissioned

Georgetown, GINA, June 17, 2013

The level of professionalism expected from members of the Guyana Police Force (GPF) who have undergone training at the newly commissioned $158.4M Training Centre is already high.

The fully air conditioned facility boasts an auditorium with seating capacity for 230 persons, library and reading centre cafeteria, recruitment and Information Technology centre, lecture theatres, classrooms, registrar department, storerooms and offices.

A section of the gathering at the commissioning of the Guyana Police Force Officers’ Training Centre

Occupying 18,320 square feet on the corners of Young and Camp Streets, Kingston, the training centre is the product of a partnership between the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and the Project Implementation Unit/Citizen Security Programme.

The Ministry of Home Affairs handed over the facility to the GPF today, after President Donald Ramotar unveiled a plaque and toured the facility in the company of Minister of Home Affairs Clement Rohee, Acting Police Commissioner Leroy Brummell other senior officials of the force and IDB representative in Guyana Sophie Makonnen.

President Donald Ramotar cuts the ceremonial ribbon to commission the Guyana Police Force Training Centre in the presence of IDB Resident Representative Sophie Makonnen, Police Commissioner (ag) Leroy Brummell and other top brass of the police force

It is a facility which security officials are assured have created the type of environment needed training for local and foreign security personnel, but one which they were urged to make maximum use of and to care.

President Ramotar and Minister Rohee sought to instill in officers, the importance and values of training to the security sector in Guyana, making reference to the type of security intelligence needed to address modern crimes.

President Donald Ramotar reads the plaque of the newly commissioned Guyana Police Force Officers’ Training Centre. Others looking on are from left: Home Affairs Minister Clement Rohee, IDB Resident Representative Sophie Makonnen and Police Commissioner (ag) Leroy Brummell

The Head of State believes the force must build capacity to understand and address the transnational nature of criminal activities in the global environment like money laundering, cybercrimes and drug trafficking.

“There is a lot of inter-relationship and closeness and international crimes are a big and important factor today, and therefore it is logical that if we are going to succeed in… the goal of eliminating crime and minimising it as far as possible… we have to build new capacity in our security forces, particularly, our police men and women,” President Ramotar said.

President Donald Ramotar taking a look inside the Guyana Police Force Officers’ Training Centre, surrounded by top officials of the force (OP-Sandra Prince photos)

Closer to home, the President spoke of a few clandestine operations like property scams which the security forces, and the Ministry of Housing have been able to unearth and the masterminds brought to justice.

In other related incidents, the President spoke of lawbreakers willfully being granted amnesty, domestic violence reports that were forewarned but treated with apathy, and lack of evidence by police in court cases that result in criminals walking free. President Ramotar believes that a good police relation with the community is critical to crime fighting.

“We cannot fight crimes effectively without having good relations within the communities themselves… they (community) must have confidence in the police force. They should see the police as their friends to work with, to overcome difficulties, and to bring criminals to justice,” President Ramotar said.

The Guyana Police Force Officers’ Training Centre

The conduct of officers and the few “rogue elements”  that give the force a bad name were among the demerits that it is hoped will be  a thing of the past as efforts continue to promote professionalism through training.

Provided that such endeavours are unsuccessful, Minister Rohee assured that the recourse to disciplinary action is always available.

Security is crucial to a country’s development and for Guyana, the perpetuation of growth and investor confidence which the country has been experiencing, particularly over the last seven consecutive years.

With training centres established in the three counties, Minister Rohee is satisfied with efforts to decentralise training of the force at various levels and vows to continue investing in the sector despite challenges by the political opposition in the National Assembly.

He underscored the importance of officers becoming au fait with Information Communication Technology.

“It is expected that with the quality of training at the centre, citizens of Guyana will feel the difference in the quality of service provided by the Guyana Police Force,” Minister Rohee asserted.

“The training centre has been constructed, not because training courses for officers are being conducted, but the conditions under which they were conducted were not conducive to the standard consistent with the modern police force,” he further elaborated.

Support from the IDB in the security sector is premised on the institution’s focus on action and prevention, and institutional strengthening programmes in Latin America and the Caribbean.

Makonnen said it is estimated that crime and violence cost economies between five and 10 percent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP).