Need for training To the Editor
Guyana Chronicle
January 16, 2002

It is encouraging to see the Opposition Party leading the way in calling for accountability within the Police organisation. I sincerely feel that the law enforcement department has evolved over the years and enhancement is herefore needed. It is important that the Police's involvement in facilitating these changes be co-operative as well. That being said, the department should not be made to feel alienated or demonised.

It is important to recognise that our Officers are charged with a tremendous task with very little resources or compensation.

To improve their professional standards the Government will be required to invest into more comprehensive training and salary. Our new recruits are increasingly becoming younger. The department should at least require of its new officers, 3 years commitment in a training college before being placed on the work rooster. This will ensure that they are at least mentally capable of handling the responsibility expected of them when called upon.

At present, the Police are reaching for their weapons prematurely before exhausting all other conflict resolution. This is due to them not being adequately trained. It is unfair to expect these extremely young (baby) officers to have the skills needed to handle hostile situations when they were not given the necessary training.

These officers are trying their best with what they are given to work with. Instead of beating up on their psyche, let's try to help them become better Police- we can all accomplish a win-win situation here.
Berkeley Van Bowen
International Human Rights Watch