Days after Dr Mohamed Irfaan Ali was sworn in as the 9th Executive President of Guyana, there has been major changes within the hierarchy of the Guyana Police Force (GPF).
Only recently, Assistant Commissioner of Police, Clifton Hicken had replaced Deputy Commissioner of Police, Maxine Graham as head of operations.
Graham had proceeded on pre-retirement leave. Further, Leslie James who served as Top Cop has also proceeded on pre-retirement leave and as such, Nigel Hoppie is now acting Police Commissioner.
However, another shakeup will see Senior Superintendent Wendell Blanhum returning as Crime Chief – replacing Senior Superintendent Michael Kingston.
Blanhum was serving as Police Commander of Region One (Barima/Waini). He previously served as Crime Chief from 2015 but was demoted to Deputy Commander of ‘A’ Division in 2017 following a controversial Commission of Inquiry into an alleged plot to assassinate former President David Granger.
Blanhum’s demotion was heavily criticised since his stint as Crime Chief resulted in the reopening of many high-profile cases like the execution of fashion designer, Trevor Rose; and the 1993 murder case of Monica Reece.
In a brief comment, Blanhum stated that he was happy to return as Crime Chief while noting that he will continue to serve the country with pride and dignity.
Meanwhile, taking over the position of Commander of Region One is Superintendent Jairam Ramlakhan who served as the Police Force’s Public Relations Officer for several years.
Ramlakhan stated that his new post takes immediate effect.
He noted that it will be an honour to serve the people of Region One and also promised to perform his duty with integrity. He is expected to travel into the area today.
In addition, Assistant Commissioner of Police Royston Andries Junor will now be heading the Force’s Public Relations Department.
Over the coming weeks, it is expected that the Ali-led government will make more changes.