Unanswered 911 calls: “This must stop”; Ramotar unveils plan to address security woes


By Jomo Paul

President Donald Ramotar along with several senior police ranks. [iNews’ Photo]
[www.inewsguyana.com] – Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, President Donald Ramotar on Thursday March 12 unveiled a 15 point plan that is geared towards improving the overall efficiency of the Guyana Police Forces by targeting several weak areas.

Ramotar was at the time delivering the feature address at the opening ceremony of the 2015 Police Officers Conference at Eve Leary. He made it clear that certain improvements had to be made as he laid out the foundation that would serve to increase efficiency within the police force.

“It is time to change how we do things and how we address these problems. Resources and leadership don’t matter if you have nowhere to put those resources and nothing to lead. So I am proposing a 15 in 2015 programme that is designed to restore confidence in our nation’s police force,” Ramotar explained.

The foundation covers an elaborate plan inclusive of 15 points that would address a slew of issues currently plaguing the security sector with direct nexus to the Guyana Police Force.

One of the points seeks to address concerns directly relating to emergency services and the fact that most 911 calls go unanswered.

“Too often we have heard about the length of time or the fact that people don’t answer the 911 calls when they are made; this must stop,” said President Ramotar.

The President also pointed out that Guyana’s response time is among the worst in the Caribbean nations, which should not be the case.

To address this particular concern the President is advocating for the establishment of a rapid response centre.

Other points in the President’s plan includes increasing the number of covert patrols, Neighbourhood Watch, more aggressive road policing, and working closely with schools in tandem with the establishment of drugs and weapon free zones around schools.

Ramotar also noted that the plan would see the opening of several cold cases and unresolved crime in hopes of bringing some finality to those issues.

Meanwhile, Ramotar pointed out that the recent revelation of the Latin American Public Opinion Project 2014 National survey of Guyana, which indicated that Guyana has the lowest level of police trust in the region, is worrisome.

“We may have our view of the survey, its methodology and its analysis. The reality is that LAPA has published its findings and it is widely disseminated therefore it must be addressed objectively,” said the President.

The President expects the police force to deliberate the issue and arrive at a solution to move the country forward.

“Let me be clear with this point; this perception is not acceptable to me or any Guyanese and should not be acceptable to any of you here today and we must take steps to change these perceptions,” he affirmed.

President Ramotar said that the “leadership of the Guyana Police Force must lead and show all other members the path forward…the population and those elected to lead whether in opposition or in government, will hold you – the leadership…accountable for the indiscretions of the few among you…the few rotten oranges that would spoil the whole basket.”

He said that the officers should have zero tolerance for those among them that are corrupt and seek to weed them out.

“A police officer cannot be a walking contradiction; on the one hand pretending to be a paradigm of virtue but on the other hand…lining his or her pockets….make no mistake if you fail to perform your duties and you fail to honour the oath that you took to serve and protect the Guyanese people, then I will do what I have to do to ensure that the Guyanese people have proper service by the Guyana Police Force,” said the Commander-in-Chief.