Guyana Police Force must be ‘highly professional’ to uphold democracy, rule of law – President Ali

President and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, His Excellency Dr Mohamed Irfaan Ali has underscored the importance of having a highly professionalised Guyana Police Force (GPF) to safeguard democracy and the principles of natural justice.

The head of state highlighted this fundamental responsibility while addressing scores of senior police officers at the opening ceremony of the Annual Police Officers’ Conference held at the Police Officers’ Mess Annexe, Eve Leary, Georgetown Thursday morning.

President and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, His Excellency Dr Mohamed Irfaan Ali addressing police officers on Thursday

President Ali said the police force must position itself as a safe, welcoming, and trustworthy institution.

“At the end of the day … what is important is that we build a highly professional police force so that any citizen can go to bed [and] sleep well knowing that there are institutions in our country that will not falter and disappoint the people of this country,” he stressed.

President Ali went on to remind officers of their sacred oath, which is dedicated to the principles of justice while reiterating the need for officers to become strong leaders of democracy.

“Not based on influence, but it’s natural. It becomes an inherent character, an inherent character of who you are when you put on this uniform and people look at you, they must see someone who will not hide when the country needs them to defend democracy, defend the rule of law and uphold your constitutional requirement,” the president expressed, highlighting that law enforcement personnel hold a critical balance in society.

The president also spoke on several crucial matters, including the role of technology, which is important to addressing modern policing challenges that come with the exponential transformation currently unfolding in several sectors.

The three-day Annual Police Officers’ Conference is themed “Transformative Unity: Nurturing Trust, Youth Development, Professionalism & Safety Through Competence & Strategic Partnerships”

President Ali also recognised the outstanding performance of the police force in the past year, pointing to the expansion of its human resource capacity.

Along this vein, he voiced confidence that in the next five years, there will be a highly trained, competent and qualified police force.

Another crucial achievement highlighted was the expansion of partnership between the police force and its regional and international partners.

According to President Ali, that relationship has expanded greatly. He, therefore, advised that the international accreditation of the Police Force Academy is in its final stages as a testimony to the expanded relationship.  

“This is one of the things we wanted to achieve, build infrastructure here, build systems here that are of international standards because we believe this is how we can share our prosperity with the region,” he asserted.

He added that Guyana has advanced partnerships with the United States, United Kingdom, and India and it is now up to the police to further develop those partnerships.

While significant achievements were made in every area, President Ali noted the pertinent issue of road fatalities, which he said requires stakeholders to work collectively and comprehensively to find innovative solutions.

Annual Police Officers’ Conference

“It is unfortunate that you have to find innovative ways of enforcement, when it is within the power of all of us, within the power of every driver, every road user, to act and behave in a manner that is befitting of what is expected of them on the roadways,” he lamented noting that this issue is compounded with the rapid development occurring.

“All of these are matters that we are not unaware of, but matters that compound the situation because we have to find the balance and you can’t slow things down. You can slow the speed but not the development; [it] is integral,” he added.

This year’s edition of the conference is themed “Transformative Unity: Nurturing Trust, Youth Development, Professionalism & Safety Through Competence & Strategic Partnerships”.

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