Process to select Guyana’s next Top Cop initiated – Harmon

first_img…candidates to be given equal opportunityBy Shemuel FanfairOne month after former Police Commissioner Seelall Persaud retired from the Guyana Police Force, his replacement will soon be determined as measures are afoot to facilitate the process.In an interview with Guyana Times on Wednesday, Minister of State Joseph Harmon confirmed that the process to find a substantive replacement has begun.“For the question of appointing a Commissioner of Police… I will say yes theActing Police Commissioner David Ramnarineprocess has been kick-started and that work is going on in that regard,” the Minister disclosed.When questioned if acting Police Commissioner David Ramnarine is being considered for the post of most senior Police Officer, Harmon by his response hinted that others may be in the running to head the law-enforcement body.“There is a process and it will basically give others an equal opportunity,” he stressed.However, Section 210 of Chapter 1:01 of the Constitution of Guyana outlines that there must be meaningful consultations with the Opposition Leader and Chairperson of the PSC.“The Commissioner of Police and every Deputy Commissioner of Police shall be appointed by the President acting after meaningful consultation with the Leader of the Opposition and Chairperson of the Police Service Commission after the Chairperson has consulted with the other members of the Commission,” the relevant section of the Constitution read.Legal minds have interpreted that this section signals that the President is notMinister of State, Joseph Harmonbound by the Opposition Leader or the PSC’s input; suggesting that the President could “hand-pick” a Joint Services rank of his choice.“If the office of Commissioner of Police is vacant or if the holder thereof is for any reason unable to perform the functions of his or her office, a person may be appointed to act in that office and the provisions of the preceding paragraph shall apply to such an appointment as they apply to the appointment of a person to hold that office…” the supreme law of Guyana further noted.While it is still unclear as to who will take up the top post, Minister Harmon hinted last year at the possibility that a female could assume the position of Commissioner of Police. When he had been asked whether Assistant Police Commissioner Paul Williams was likely to take up the mantle, the Minister of State had observed that female officers are also to be considered when deciding on a Police Commissioner.“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.”last_img

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