NewsArts & EntertainmentCommunity ReportCrimeEditorialFeaturesLetters

Leslie James turns 55; returns to civilian life in 8 days

Leslie James turns 55; returns to civilian life in 8 days

Outgoing Commissioner of Police Leslie James DSS DSM

Substantive Commissioner of Police Leslie James attained the age of 55 (age of retirement) on Wednesday, April 21, 2021. He now has eight more days (April 30, 2021) as a police officer before officially retiring and returning to the life of a civilian

Leslie James was appointed Commissioner of Police on August 30, 2018. At the time of his appointment, he was the least expected among the Assistant Commissioners of Police to be picked for the job. He joined the law enforcement agency back in November 1987

On the day he was appointed Commissioner of Police, four other Assistant Commissioners of Police also received promotions, they were Maxine Graham, Lyndon Alves, Paul Williams and Nigel Hoppie who were appointed Deputy Commissioners of Police.

On August 30th when the announcement was made that Commander in Chief and President David Granger appointed James as the new Top Cop, Assistant Commissioner of Police at the time, David Ramnarine who was performing the functions of Top Cop, left the confines of the Guyana Police Force Headquarters and never returned.

James and all others who were promoted on that day were juniors to Ramnarine and Clifton Hicken. Ramnarine subsequently utilised several bouts of leave before writing for early retirement which was granted to him.

The leadership of the Guyana Police Force under Commissioner of Police Leslie James got off to a good start with him and his four Deputies but that did not last long.

The BIG-Five as we at BIG Smith News Watch called them displayed a unity among themselves which would soon die a natural death when the issues of personalities and decision-making that overrides, came into play. The first fracture came when Commissioner James was away on travel duties and Deputy Commissioner Paul Williams performed the duties as Top Cop.

Upon James return, he reportedly told the then Minister of Public Security that he more favoured DC Nigel Hoppie to act in his absence. It would be the last day Williams controlled the force in the absence of James.

Many ranks, senior and junior officers complained that they saw very little change within the Guyana Police Force under the leadership of the BIG-Five.

Areas of concerns of ranks were not adequately addressed and police officers were transferred in and out of divisions and departments of the force, sometimes on the instruction and influence of persons external to the Guyana Police Force. The next two years of the force administration would everyone holding their own as the bubble eventually popped.

There were allegations of gun license sales, misconduct in the issuance of security services license, fake source documents, wiretapping of a sitting Minister of Government and a force that made no major force policy/ decision that addresses the security concerns of the citizens and long-term welfare of its members.

Leslie James DSS DSM was born on April 21, 1966, he served as Divisional Commander ‘C’ from July 25 2018 to August 30, 2018. Prior to that, he served as Divisional Commander ‘A’ from February 19, 2018- July 25, 2018. James was Divisional Commander ‘D’ from September 13, 2016, to February 19, 2018. He served as head of the Project from June 11, 2015- September 13, 2016, after he was removed as Crime Chief where he previously served from April 13, 2014, to June 11, 2015. Before serving in all the above-mentioned areas of the force, Leslie James headed the force’s intelligence arm (Special Branch)

He has several certificates and is qualified in a number of areas including public administration, law, public management, transformation leadership, police ethics and leadership, gang investigation and prosecution, biological weapons, police operational management, human resource development, witness protection, prosecution of drug offenses, special prosecutor and is also a justice of the peace.

The BIG Smith News Watch would like to express well wishes to outgoing Commissioner of Police Leslie James on his future endeavours and express gratitude to him for his service to the Guyana Police Force and by extension the State of Guyana.