With just a few months left under his belt before his retirement next year, Police Commissioner Seelall Persaud is looking to develop ‘security intelligence’ within the Guyana Police Force (GPF) to further strengthen its mandate.
This project is among three recently outlined by the Top Cop to be implemented in 2017, when he will be closing the curtains on his 30plus years law enforcement career. The other two projects have to do with having officers more closely monitor communities at the station level and developing the Force’s Public Relations (PR) Department to reach the younger generation.
“I intend to fully implement these three major projects before I ride into retirement. I think they are all achievable and I think with the team that I have right now at the top of the Force, it is something that we will be able to implement very smoothly,” he remarked at an event on Friday. The Police Commissioner explained that the Police Force has significantly developed its crime intelligence outside of the Special Branch, which has proven to be more beneficial both on the tactical side as well as the strategic end. At the same time, however, he explained that the Force’s security intelligence has been lagging. “We have a very strong crime intelligence but we have a not so strong (security) intelligence that deals with other factors such as borders, espionage and the different kinds of political objection groups, activism and that kind of stuff,” he stated.
To this end, Persaud disclosed that the GPF has turned to its Jamaican counterpart – the Jamaican Force Constabulary, which is said to have the best Police intelligence system in the Caribbean – to lend assistance in developing its security intelligence.
He added that already, a team from the Caribbean Island came to Guyana and conducted an analysis during this year. A report has since been roduced and based on the recommendations made, an operational plan for implementation has been developed and is now with the Public Security Minister for approval, the Police Commissioner noted. He said that once the Minister gives the green light, this project will be implemented next year.
Meanwhile, the second project that Commissioner Persaud is seeking to have rolled out ahead of his 2017 retirement will tackle two areas; having a specific group of ranks focusing on a particularly geographic area within the Police Station’s district and this will in turn hold specific persons accountable at frontline levels.
According to the Top Cop, this initiative has already been introduced at some Police Stations with teams of ranks being given responsibility for a geographic area within the district of the station. The Station Sergeants are expected to manage this initiative to ensure effectiveness. He noted that this way, the ranks would know the households, the people living within that community, the businesses operating there and the nuisances affecting the community in order to be better able to provide Policing servicing within that community.
“If that community is getting worst, those are the people who will be called upon personally to be accountable,” he stated.
On the other hand, the third project involves enhancing the Force PR Department, which Commissioner Persaud said has been suffering and just woke up. He disclosed that an in-house team is currently working along with PRO, Superintendent Jairam Ramlakhan, to develop a plan for next year.
The Top Cop noted that the Private Sector Commission (PSC) has already offered assistance and the Force is looking to collaborate with other organisations or individuals with expertise in this area to add to a workable plan for next year.
“So you are likely to see a lot of changes in the way we do public relations and I think that will benefit not only the media, but the society. I have made mention in recent time to the millennial generation; they are people who we are seeing entering the justice system, meaning they are being arrested for crimes and there are persons who play video games and live on social media. They don’t watch the news on television and don’t read the newspapers. So the positive messages that come through those medium does not impact them,” he stated.
In this effort, the Commissioner noted that he along with A Division (Georgetown) Commander Clifton Hicken, met with about 25 entertainers such as DJs and promoters, soliciting their help to get positive messages from the Force across to people who go to the parties or listen to specific radio programmes. (Vahnu Manikchand)