By Leroy Smith
[www.inewsguyana.com] – Religious leaders representing the various faith-based organizations on Friday (June 6) committed to ‘A’ Division Commander Clifton Hicken their full support for the Impact Albouystown Project and other initiatives aimed at fostering greater police/public relationships.
The leaders however warned that the police must improve entry requirements for members seeking to join the Force so that their actions during the execution of their duties are not in contravention to the standard operating procedures (SOP) of the Force.
Examples of anger management, proper background checks, counseling and religious interactions were cited as some of the things which must be part of the process.
During the meeting on Friday, some of the religious leaders called for the reintroduction of the Guyana National Service (GNS) and corporal punishment. The leaders are also calling for the Impact Albouystown Project to be emulated in every community possible.
Meanwhile, Hicken noted that the Force looks to the religious community collectively for assistance with the public/police partnership given the traditional role of religion and its ability of instilling morals.
Hicken urged the leaders to return to their communities and identify the vulnerable young people who are misguided in a bid to help to reform them. He stressed that if this approach is not adopted at the earliest stage in a child’s life then by the ages of 14 – 20, bringing them in line would be the ‘devil’s own job’.
He reminded that based on research done by the Guyana Police Force and the ongoing work in communities, evidence suggests that most of the young people who are involved in criminal and other unlawful activities are between the ages of 14 and 20.
The commander admitted that the police can no longer police the country in the same manner they did previously; adding that is largely because the times are changing and young people are learning faster than they did two decades ago.
The meeting was another of a series of meetings being held by the Commander as part of the inclusive approach of the Guyana Police Force which is also as part of the modernization process. The next meeting is expected to be between the A Division top brass and the Community Policing Groups within Georgetown.