As discussions begin on the appointment of a new Commissioner of Police to replace Police Commissioner Seelall Persaud, who is slated to retire next year, Minister of State, Joseph Harmon, on Monday hinted at the possibility of a female assuming the position of Top Cop, although he has indicated that there is no final word on who is set to replace Persaud.
This was after Harmon was cornered with questions at a Police event on Monday. Those questions were initially in regard to who would be stepping up to fill the Top Cop post, as now acting Police Commissioner David Ramnarine will soon embark on pre-retirement leave.
Responding, Harmon told the media, “There is a structure in the Force that will facilitate officers who go on leave, that officers are identified to act in their place. The Force has a structure that will allow for the next senior rank to act up in the capacity as the Commissioner of Police.”
Asked whether Assistant Police Commissioner Paul Williams is likely to take up the mantle, the Minister of State, currently acting in the capacity of Public Security Minister, offered no direct reply.
However, he did let on that while there is a line of succession in the Guyana Police Force, female officers are also to be considered when deciding on a Police Commissioner.
In so doing, he noted, “You don’t just look at the male ranks in the Police Force, we have female officers as well. And therefore, if it is that a female officer is to be the person, then so be it.”
He added, “All things are possible in the Force. Every Police officer who joins the Force hopes to one day become the Commissioner. Every senior officer, once they are within the age range for that, would have the expectation that at the appropriate time, he/she will become the Commissioner of Police.”
This development comes just months after the launch of a Commission of Inquiry (CoI) into the investigations done in regard to the alleged assassination plot against President David Granger.
Emanating from the findings were calls for the removal of Persaud as the Commissioner of Police; and shortly after, he proceeded on leave.
In fact, the CoI report stated, “Commissioner Persaud’s ability to continue in the office of Commissioner of Police has become untenable.”
The findings further outlined that, “Persaud should be made to resign his position as the Commissioner of Police for the Guyana Police Force under such terms and conditions that His Excellency considers appropriate.”
Harmon related on Monday that Government has taken into consideration the recommendations of the CoI, but is yet to make a final move.
Even with that being said, he contended, “We are always in touch with Mr Seelall Persaud. Mr Seelall Persaud is still a member of the Guyana Police Force. I personally have met with Mr Seelall Persaud a few weeks ago in relation to what he considers to be important matters in relation to his own welfare.”
Police Commissioner Persaud would have attained the age for retirement in the first quarter of 2018.