Sixty-one police recruits graduate
Stabroek News
August 18, 2002

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Sixty-one police recruits from three different courses graduated from the Felix Austin Police College on Friday and were charged to be excellent examples of what a professional policeman is and not to allow a few brigands to topple law and order.

The charge was delivered to the new recruits by Assis-tant Commissioner of Police, Henry Greene, at the Felix Austin Police College, Eve Leary after the recruits completed the initial period of training at the college. They graduated from the 248, 249 and 250 courses. The recruits have to serve two years before becoming full-fledged police constables. However, they would be involved in every aspect of policing Inspectors, station sergeants, lance corporals and corporals also received certificates of participation in a five-day introductory course on human rights convened in conjunction with the force and the Guyana Human Rights Association (GHRA).

Best Graduating Student: Constable Schwartz copped the best graduating student prize in the 250 police course when the new recruits graduated from the Felix Austin Training College on Friday. Constables Chunia and Todd were the best graduating students in the 249 and 248 courses respectively. In this photograph Constable Schwartz is seen receiving his prize from Assistant Police Commissioner, Henry Greene.

Greene, in delivering the feature address, told the recruits that when they go out into the world to execute their jobs they must be like the turtle; not slow, but they must stick their necks out.

The assistant commissioner warned that the policing in the real world will be much more difficult than policing in the class room. "You would have to face the difficulty that police men and women face today," Greene warned.

He said no police officer must be deterred by what was happening in the country today and reminded the new constables of part of the oath taken by all policemen/ women to dispense justice without favour, malice or ill will.

He urged the recruits not to allow the existing crime situation to make them cringe as the unlawful will smile. "Stand steadfast and one by one those persons will be brought to justice," he said.

He told them to be cautious but not scared and careful but not fearful.

Speaking to those who participated in the human rights training programme, Greene advised that upon their return to work they should display their newfound knowledge and try to implement some of what was taught. Also, he urged them to impart some of what was learnt to other officers. He pointed out that members of the force have the responsibility to uphold the law and respect the rights of all human beings.

Merle Mendonca of the GHRA said that it was the second such programme to be held for the year and some 60 officers participated.

According to her, the aim of the training programme was to, provide police officers with a fundamental understanding of human rights as an appropriate approach to policing; introduce them to international and national human rights principles applicable to policing; help them understand how these principles affect day-to-day policing and to understand the importance of rights, duties, responsibilities and the limitations of rights.

The programme was held over a five-day period, April 2 to 6, and participants utilised various learning techniques such as individual and group presentations overhead projection and posters, drama, videos and songs. Mendonca said the participants also did written evaluations.

According to her in reviewing the 14 Practices to Accomplish Police Command and Management Responsibilities, many participants spoke of the need to provide entry-level and continuous in-service training to all law enforcement officials in emphasizing human rights aspects of police work. She said they also called for a review of Sections 50, 51 of the Police Act, Cap.16:10, which could expand the mandate of the police association.