Guyana Chronicle:– President David Granger and Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo unanimously agreed to appoint Leslie Albert James as the 12th Commissioner of Police with immediate effect when they met at State House on Thursday.
President Granger said James will be supported by four deputy commissioners, namely Lyndon Alves, Maxine Graham, Nigel Hoppie and Paul Williams.
The four deputies will be responsible for Operations, Administration, Law Enforcement and Special Branch/ Intelligence of the Force.
“My intention is that the four deputies will be responsible for various aspects of the Police Force, for example, Operations, Administration, Law Enforcement and Special Branch or Intelligence. What we have done today is we have not only appointed a police commissioner but we have also improved the architecture of the Police Force so that instead of having a flat structure we now have clearly defined responsibilities in those four deputy commissioners. So, things will be better. I am sure there will be better performance in those areas. It will help to enhance the specialisation of the Police Force. It will help to spur the career mobility of officers and I am convinced that the efficiency of the Police Force as a whole will be enhanced,” the head of state said.
The President noted that it is his expectation to meet with the new commissioner and deputies to discuss the appointments to each of the four areas identified.
“I was not interested in having a foreigner head the Guyana Police Force. I felt that we had local talent. I think the process has resulted in the best five being selected to lead the Force and I will be meeting later today with the commissioner and deputy commissioners. I think this is the best outcome and they are all fit and proper persons to lead the Police Force,” he said.
The President said his principle concern is security reform implementation and citizen’s security.
“This Government will resist any attempt from any quarter to reverse, retard or to thwart the reforms on which we are about to embark and I look to this new team to promote those reforms vigorously to ensure that from year to year the citizens of this country will see the Guyana Police Force is there to serve and to protect them,” he explained.
The appointments pave the way for the Force to be more efficiently managed, including having a system of succession planning, notably training in preparation for high office.
Meanwhile, Opposition Leader Jagdeo, at his Church Street office on Thursday, said the President explained the process he used to select the commissioner of police and why was the person acting in the position, David Ramnarine not confirmed.
“He said there were specific reasons why he was not selected and he did not say why….The person who is the new commissioner of police, I have heard nothing adverse about him so far, personally I have nothing adverse about him being appointed,” Jagdeo said.
The Opposition Leader said he inquired from the President about the process he used and had asked him for a copy of the Combs’ Reports since he wanted an overview of the thinking behind the security sector and the reforms.
The PPP, he said wants to buy into the reforms and contribute to them because “we would likely inherit them.”
New Top Cop, James said his mandate is clear and he will ensure the laws of Guyana are maintained.
“I will execute the office of the Commissioner of Police, I will assure that citizens in Guyana and in the diaspora to be assured of their respective security,” Leslie Albert James said.
James said he is aware of the crime situation and plans will be made immediately to develop counterstrategies.