Commanders for all 12 of the Police Regional Divisions were told by acting Police Commissioner Clifton Hicken, to “put your houses in order” and they have from now until Monday to ensure this was done in all the divisions across Guyana.
“Commanders, you are accountable for the officers and ranks under your command. I don’t want you to micro-manage, but you must have a hands-on and effective approach to managing your respective divisions,” the Top Cop told the 12 commanders at a closed-door Executive Leadership Team (ELT) meeting held on Wednesday in the boardroom of the Officers’ Training Centre in Georgetown.
“We cannot take things for granted anymore, so wake up, Commanders…we need to get busy,” the Top Cop is quoted as saying in a release issued by the Joint Service Public Relations Department.
Hicken, during the highly-interactive leadership session, took the opportunity to thank the Commanders for their overwhelming support. He, however, pointed out the need for a much-higher level of cohesion and teamwork in the overall command structure of the Force.
He noted that himself and others in the ELT would ensure that every effort was made to have a more cohesive command structure whereby all the commanders worked in unison as “one body” with a common purpose to serve and protect.
He also said standardisation was necessary in order for the Police Force to achieve this cohesiveness at the Commanders’ level.
“And so, gone are the days when you’re going to have one commander with all the knowledge and the other commanders searching for knowledge. We don’t want a half-balanced Police Force. We want all the Commanders to be doing the same thing across the spectrum. And so, Commanders will communicate more often than ever and learn from each other’s experiences and best practices,” Hicken said.
Alluding to the fact that there was no such thing as a ‘perfect person’ or any one person who knows everything, the Top Cop said we were all ignorant of something.
“I want a cohesive command structure, as we cannot work in isolation. So, don’t allow the minority to blind the vision of the majority. If you want to swim against the tide, you will swim alone,” the Top Cop declared.
Change is constant
Referencing the age-old notion, articulated by Albert Einstein that “the measure of intelligence is the ability to change”, Hicken told the Commanders that the only thing that remained constant in life was change and they must be prepared for the strategic and visionary changes that would take place in the Guyana Police Force (GPF).
He also advised the Commanders to “do introspection” and, where necessary, change their mode of operation in terms of how they manage the officers, inspectors and other ranks under their command. In this regard, he stressed that there would be no room for compromise when it comes to professionalism and accountability in the discharge of their duties as senior members of this noble profession.
Like the previous days this week (Monday and Tuesday) when he met with all the Sergeants and Inspectors of the Police Force, the acting Commissioner has entrusted an extensive mandate to the commanders to raise “the ethical standards and behaviour, because it starts with us”.
Hicken told the Commanders to ensure that they go out into the communities in their respective divisions and interact with the residents and get to know them and understand their challenges.
“It is mandatory that you interact with the communities more often now than ever,” he said.
Acting Deputy Commissioner (Administration) Calvin Brutus also spoke at length with the Commanders, during which he touched on a number of admin issues that relate to the Police divisions, specifically, and the entire GPF in general.
Among the issues that Brutus spoke on are: the GPF’s strategic plan 2022 to 2026, training, diversity and recruitment, decentralisation of services, community relations programme, infrastructure development, vehicle inspection and maintenance, inventories at stations, general returns and paying attention to the standing orders, theft of GPF’s assets, and efforts being made to change and update the Force’s standing orders, etc.