The Georgetown Police Department
Stabroek News
February 13, 2002

Dear Editor,

This is my final [ please note: link provided by LOSP web site ] letter on proposed police organisation.

Georgetown, as the major urban center in Guyana, attracts a level of crime unlike any other locality and, as the capital city, requires a focused response in law enforcement to curtail the prevalence of crime and enhance the comfort levels of residents and visitors. The Georgetown Police Department (GPD) should therefore be a highly visible unit of men working with the community to instill confidence and to detect and combat crime. The department should fall under the offices of the Mayor and City Council and be funded from the property taxes and a government subvention.

It should be organized as follows:

The Board of Commissioners - This Board serves as the head of the GPD, functioning like a corporate board of directors, setting policies for the department and overseeing its operations. The Board works in conjunction with the Chief of Police who acts as a chief executive officer and reports to the Board. The Board should comprise five civilian members drawn from the community and appointed by the Mayor, pending confirmation by the City Council. It should have a lawyer as at least one of its members, to provide perspective on legal issues involving the GPD.

The Commissioners' concerns are reflective of the community-at large, and their priorities include implementing recommended reforms, improving service to the public by the department, reducing crime and the fear of crime, and initiating, implementing and supporting community-policing programs. Additionally, the Board should:

* Hold weekly meetings to address a published agenda on routine departmental concerns, policy matters of concern to the community and a period for public comment, during which any member of the public may speak for a prescribed time on any topic within the Board's jurisdiction.

* Oversee, investigate and recommend discipline for holders of city permits, which have a public safety component.

* Address labor and employment law matters, including grievances, discrimination and sexual harassment complaints.

* Conduct research, develop, analyze, and monitor the progress of policy implementation and review proposed department actions.

* Maintain the office of an Inspector General to audit, investigate and oversee the Police Department's handling of complaints of misconduct by department employees, and conduct other investigations at their discretion (review the application of force for all officer involved shootings).

The Chief of Police - the Mayor, pending confirmation by the City Council, appoints him or her to supervise the operations of the department.

This structure should include:

* A Deputy Chief responsible for Human Resources.
* A Deputy Chief responsible for Fiscal and Support Services
* A Deputy Chief appointed as the Chief of Staff to oversee the administrative section and the Internal Affairs Bureau.
* A Deputy Chief appointed as a Special Assistant with responsibility for Community Affairs and to be the Liaison between the department and the City Government.
* Commanders for:

HQ Operations
North Sector
South-East Sector
South-West Sector
Investigations Section
Port Operations Control
Special Weapons and Tactics Teams (S.W.A.T)

Yours faithfully,
Merrill Hyman Sr.