Let's give the police our support
Stabroek News
March 8, 2002

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Dear Editor,

The police force has been for the longest while, and still is, criticised for the way in which many members function. What is worse is the fact that policemen have been brutally slain, on the job, and those very people who are so quick to criticize did not even voice a word of sympathy publicly.

Guyana is fast becoming a 'Dodge City' with robberies, jailbreaks, shootouts and killings and there seems to be no end to it. Hence the reason for my letter. We, the members of the public, should come out and publicly support the police force. We must, because we have the capabilities to do it, force some of the sick and selfish politicians to recognize that for a measly $21,000 per month there are men and women who are willing to risk their lives to serve their country and, even though there may be a few 'bad eggs' in the bunch, let us not condemn them blindly.

I am not getting into names because there is a profound statement that will not allow me to, at this stage. It says, 'let's not fix the blame, let's fix the problem'. We can fix it by sending cards to police stations, assisting with the upkeep of stations in our communities, writing letters to the press thanking the police whenever members function admirably (like on the weekend at Splashmin or, more recently Mash), send flowers or get well cards on occasions. On that note why not have services at various places of worship for Prison Officer Winfield? A young mother, in the prime of her life, is fighting for her life; a young officer died in the line of duty. I wonder how all those dedicated critics of the police would react if those escapees end up in a shoot out with the police or the army and are themselves killed?

The police have a job to do and those of us who criticise them should give our criticisms serious thought or would you prefer the lawlessness that we are experiencing to continue?

To His Excellency, President Jagdeo, I ask that you consider paying police ranks more and make them better equipped to combat crime. In an effort to appease the critics and provide a more cautionary police force, where there is better accountability, there should be an independent inquiry done every time the police kill someone. Have a 'special investigations unit' (SIU) set up for that purpose.

Yours faithfully,

Charrandass Persaud