Harmon, Ramnarine differ on Top Cop candidates

January 12, 2020

first_img…PSC still before parliamentary committee Acting Police Commissioner David Ramnarine had said senior ranks in the Force are dwindling; a scenario with direct implications on candidates to take over as Police Commissioner.Acting Police Commissioner David RamnarineHowever, the Government is contending that far from lacking leadership, the Guyana Police Force has a number of competent officers who can take over from Ramnarine, in due course.This assertion was made by Minister of State Joseph Harmon, during a post-Cabinet press briefing. At present, Deputy Commissioner Ramnarine is again serving as the acting Police Commissioner, pending the retirement of the substantive Commissioner Seelall Persaud, next month.“There’s an acting Commissioner right now. And I suppose in the fullness of time, having a look at all the circumstances; the President will make his determination as to a substantive Police Commissioner.”“But I can say to you there are in the Police Force some excellent officers who all can fit the role of Commissioner of Police,” Harmon informed the media. Outgoing Police Commissioner, Seelall Persaud recently had a passing out parade in his honour. The parade was held under a cloud of controversy; however, as ahead of the ceremony the State media published a damaging report on the veteran officer.It was reported in the State’s newspaper that Persaud, on January 29, 2018, responded to an application previously made in his name, approving his business – Professional Outdoors Supplies – as a registered firearms dealer. Reports revealed that the outgoing Top Cop granted approval for two-gun licences for a 9mm Pistol and 12, 16 or 20-gauge pump-action shotguns.Asked whether it was ethical for him to make this move just a few weeks before his retirement, the outgoing Commissioner had pointed out that the business would have only become operationalised in May, after his retirement. Steps have since been taken to have the dealership licence revoked.Police Service CommissionWhen Ramnarine had informed the media that the number of senior ranks within the Force was dwindling, he had stressed that the reconstitution of the Police Services Commission was being eagerly awaited. This is so that 2017 promotions can go ahead. On the matter of the Police Service Commission, Harmon noted that the matter was still at the National Assembly.“The Police Service Commission is still at the National Assembly. There are recommendations to be made to his Excellency, the President. I believe that the committee (of Appointments) which is chaired by (Social Cohesion Minister, Dr George) Norton has met.”“They are required to make their submissions to the National Assembly and then those recommendations come to the President. We have urged that the National Assembly give this more attention so that we can have the commission constituted in the shortest possible time. It is very important that we have that commission.”The life of the last Police Service Commission came to an end in September 2017 and there have since been calls for its reconstitution. In fact, concerns were further raised after there were no promotions of senior officers last year.New members of the Police Service Commission have already been selected but they are yet to be formally appointed. It was in January of 2018 that Ramnarine had called for the body to be put in operation as soon as possible.Before the life of the last Police Service Commission ended back in September 2017, President David Granger had ordered in July of that year that it put a hold on the promotion of senior ranks.Though that order was followed, the courts later determined that it was illegal for the President to direct the autonomous Commission. The Police Force promoted 204 junior ranks last year.last_img

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