Crime Chief Wendell Blanhum
Guyana’s Crime Chief Wendell Blanhum recently completed with distinction, the University of Guyana’s Bachelors of Law Degree (LLB) programme. It is said that Blanhum is the first serving member of the Guyana Police Force to have completed the programme with a distinction
Such an accomplishment is nothing new to him, as he is regarded as the youngest police officer at the time to have assumed the role of Crime Chief in accordance with his initial appointment back in May 2015 at the age of 33 and who and who supervised a string of successful investigations during his tenure.
The Crime Chief couldn’t be happier that he was able to complete the programme, even with the challenges associated with his studies and placement in the force.
Blanhum was removed from his Crime Chief Duties and out of the Criminal Investigation Department back in December 2017 following a Commission of Inquiry into an alleged assignation plot against then Commander-in-Chief David Granger.
Blanhum was then posted to work out of the Strategic Management Unit of the force before being sent to the Police ‘A’ Division as Deputy Commander. In the midst of his studies at the University of Guyana, he was then posted to the remote area of Region 1 as the commander by then Commissioner of Police Leslie James.
Blanhum wrote to then Security Minister Khemraj Ramjattan asking for that decision to be reconsidered given his University commitments and Ramjattan made a commitment to have the matter looked into but at the end of it all, Blanhum was still forced to take up his remote command position during his during the sitting of exams to wrap up his second year in the programme. This to many was viewed as a means of pressuring him to quit his university studies.
However, Blanhum refused to quit. Although at a disadvantage in not being able to attend classes, he continued to dedicate his energies towards completing the programme while ensuring that commits to his oath of Service and Protection through the executions of his duties as Commander Region 1. Not only did he complete it, but he also managed to excel in his performance.
Blanhum also holds a Diploma in Public Management, a Degree in Public Management, a Post Graduate Diploma in Development Studies, and a Commonwealth Masters in Public Administration.
The Crime Chief has in the past led the way in solving some of the major cases in the country, and has been praised for his effective and hands-on approach to the job.
The Criminal Investigation Department under his leadership was able to solve the murder committed on British teen Dominic Bernard who was killed and his body buried in a shallow grave in Berbice back in March 2016. While that matter began as a missing person case, it was later found to be a murder, and because his intelligence was accurate and timely, both prime suspects were arrested and are before the courts.
The Corentyne triple murder in July 2016 was another case that Blanhum and his team solved. The success came from patience and commitment by investigators, who were able to nab all four suspects.
The investigators were also able to charge the reputed husband and taxi driver of Simone Hackett for her murder, even though the case began as a missing person report. And the murder of Professor Perry Mars was another that was solved in just a matter of 12 hours. Police were also able to solve the six-year-old case of Babita Sarjou whose remains were found in a shallow grave in Campbellville.
The Crime Chief has also in the past seen to it that several police officers guilty of corruption were charged.
Blanhum was recently returned to the post of Crime Chief as the Guyana Police Force changed it’s batting orders following the return of the Peoples Progressive Party to government.
Upon his return, two of his major assignments were to find the policemen responsible for the death of Cecil Sampat and the injury of his friend during a police operation then went wrong. Two policemen have since been placed before the courts for the murder of Sampat.
Blanhum is again being put to the test as the nation cries out for justice for Haresh Singh, Joel and Isaiah Henry of West Coast Berbice who were brutally murdered three weeks ago. While several arrests have been in relation to that murder, no one has yet been charged and placed before the courts.