OP-ED: Marlon Chapman offered me a drink

RETIRING: Assistant Commissioner of Police Marlon Chapman

Assistant Commissioner of Police Marlon Chapman and I shared a professional working relationship prior to his appointment to the rank he currently holds.

I recall meeting Mr. Chapman for the first time several a years ago when he functioned as Divisional Detective in ‘A’ Division during the tenure of retired Assistant Commissioner of Police George Vyphuis as the commander.

Well the rest is I said, we did have a good working relationship until for some reason there was that period which lead to the back and forth and the involvement of the courts. You all know the story and how it ended.

The police service car issued to Assistant Commissioner Marlon Chapman parked outside my office for close to one hour waiting to serve me with my court order

A few weeks ago, Assistant Commissioner Marlon Chapman offered me a drink at the Police Officers Mess following the conclusion of the Guyana Police Force Christmas Security Presentation.

I refused the drink on many grounds but of course Mr. Chapman was not too pleased that the BIG Smith was turning down an offer to ‘knock glass with him’ but I had my reasons.

But that is not the crux of the matter today. Today marks the beginning of the end of Assistant Commissioner Marlon Chapman’s policing career. My request to him for an interview before he goes off was denied. 

Assistant Commissioner Marlon Chapman stands among the Crime and Traffic Chief during his final presentation as a policeman, of his division’s Christmas Security Plan for 2019

Yes you read right, Marlon Chapman heads into pre-retirement today Saturday after serving the Guyana Police Force for more than thirty years.

Everyone that joins the Guyana Police Force should aspire to become part of the upper bracket of the force administration, be it a Senior Superintendent, Assistant Commissioner of Police, Deputy Commissioner of Police or Top Cop.

Chapman managed to secure two of the aforementioned and failed to secure the latter two in the preceding paragraph.

I have heard from some of my seniors in the profession that Chapman was actually a good police detective and investigator.

In-fact , I recall having an interview with him back in 2016 when he served as Divisional Commander ‘C’ where two sisters played a role in the killing of their father and the dumping of his remains on the railway embankment.

At the time the remains of the gentleman were found, his killers were not known but within days, the division under Chapman’s leadership managed to connect the two young girls to the murder of their dad. So yea, it could be surmised that Chapman is indeed a ‘good detective’

L-R Snr. Supt Wendell Blanhum, A/C Chapman and Snr. Supt Andries-Junor

I said all of that to say that I never really had a personal problem with Assistant Commissioner Marlon Chapman. I had issues with the way in which he deals with people but I guess that it is just his personality. Maybe the retiring Assistant Commissioner of Police is an introvert or was just someone who like many of us, don’t really feel comfortable having negative press and publicity.

However it should be known that once one holds public office, negative press and publicity is not something that you can entirely escape because even if you are doing all that you can to ensure that your operations are above board, there are those under you who will mess up and once they do, in accordance with the role of leadership, by virtue of being the head it is you who will be called upon to account for anything that goes wrong under your watch.

I am of the view that Marlon Chapman and I have gone past our differences, in fact, the lawsuit which he brought against me was not the reason responsible for us moving past our differences, I was done a long time before that.

As Assistant Commissioner of Police Marlon Chapman returns to his civilian life, the BIG Smith Crime Watch would like to wish him continued health and strength and a restful retirement.

Thank you for your service Chapman.