The Guyana Police Force’s Training Officer, Keithon King said it has not been able to enlist new members due to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic which have caused the Force to cancel its recruitment initiatives. This has resulted in no recruitment for over two years.
According to King, while this has hurt numbers, the Police Force is using this time to examine and implement a system that will boost the quality of individuals being allowed to enter the law enforcement entity.
King said apart from the effects of the pandemic, the Force is also looking for quality trainers to train new recruits.
“We are doing other training…we have two batches of Prosecutors presently at the training environment. Also, a batch of trainer trainers… the reason why we are looking for qualified instructors to fill the gaps to train at the colleges.
“When we select persons to be at the college, they must have some core values in terms of professionalism, they must have that endurance, accountability…they must be prepared to work… training and being an instructor is different. Not everybody can stand in front of a class and deliver,” he said.
In fact, the training officer posited that soon the GPF would not be accepting persons who do not have any academic qualifications. He said the new requirement would be no fewer than three CSEC subjects.
“It is going to be tough for them now because we will be looking now, in terms of the acceptance, we will be looking for certain qualifications, we will be looking at the skillset… we will be looking for the least three subjects CXC. From grade one to the lowest grade, which is grade three,” he explained.
Meanwhile, the GPF is also working on receiving proper accreditation for its colleges.
“We are moving to a different level. We are trying to have the college accredited to the academy stage. We are moving to a higher standard. That is the main reason why certain courses haven’t come on board as yet, it is because we want the colleges to be accredited.”
Only recently, Head of the Force’s Administration Department, Allison Moore had disputed claims that members of the Police Force were “barely literate”. This was after members of the public voiced concerns about officers of the GPF not being qualified.
Moore said that even though some officers might not be academically qualified, they were capable to conduct their duties.
She highlighted that the Police Force, in collaboration with the Government, has been giving police officers second chances by providing training programmes for them.
As such, she argued that it was up to the individual ranks to prove the public wrong on the topic of literacy. In this light, Moore said so far, there have hardly been ranks who do not try to further educate themselves, by taking advantage of the opportunities that are provided for them.
Only a month ago, Deputy Commissioner of Police, Calvin Brutus said the Force was aiming to improve the quality of Policemen and women in the next 5 to 10 years, through various training.
Training is continuously being provided by the various Police colleges across Guyana, by the University of Guyana (UG), and other institutions.
Collaboration with other Governments also see Police Officers benefiting from a wide range of training opportunities.