President Irfaan Ali on Thursday made it clear that the Corporate Communication Unit of the Guyana Police Force was not established to diminish the roles and responsibilities of anyone in the Force especially the police officers.
The Head of State was at the time speaking about government’s intention to have the police force positioned in a way where persons could see the force for what it is and what is does as against the perception that categorises the organisation.
“We have brought in professionals in that area so that we have a merge of different capabilities and strengths,” Ali pointed out, “so that we can have a better product that comes out, not to diminish the role of anyone” President Ali told a gathering of mainly senior and middle level managers of the Guyana Police Force.
Ali was at the time delivering the feature address for the commissioning of a ten million dollar investment into the Force by the Sobraj Foundation.
The foundation which has been partnering with the Guyana Police Force for more than ten years financed the construction and outfitting of a training center in the Cove and John Police Station, headquarters of Regional Police Division 4C.
According to President Irfaan Ali, the Corporate Communications Unit will work along with the police to build a better product.
He stressed that Human Resources are driven not only by salaries but by opportunities. “opportunities to build your own home, to be trained, to get new skills… these are areas and things that drive opportunities and these are things that drive change,” the President concluded.
The CCU as it is known among the police and members of the press, came into being after the government took office in in 2020.
There has been some pushing back internally within the Guyana Police Force as questioned were asked how the system and the unit would work given that it was perceived that the unit which is being headed by civilians would be giving directives to police officers.
However, the unit as it now, would request information from regional commanders and departmental heads for dissemination to the public through the press.
The Corporate Communications Unit which is headed by civilians Mark Ramotar and Stan Gouveia are answerable and report to the Commissioner of Police who gives the go ahead before press statements are released to the public.
Recently there was a blackout of information from the CCU to the media as the force felt that too much information, particularly on the issue of crimes occurring in police divisions, were getting too much attention by the press.
This is not the first time that the Guyana Police Force Public Relations arm is being headed by civilians. Under the leadership of Former Commissioner of Police Larry Lewis, civilian Royston King headed the unit.
Recently Shadow Minister of Home in the Parliamentary Opposition Geeta Chanda-Edmond sent written questions to Minister of Home Affairs Robeson Benn to explain how the CCU came about as well as questions about its staffing.
The CCU is a creature of the Crime Reform Report which laid out among other things, the need for the Police PR unit to be headed by civilians in the area of Communications and press relations.