Guyana still under threat of criminal network
- Chief of Staff
Kaieteur News
December 11, 2006

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Chief of Staff of the Guyana Defence Force, Brigadier Edward Collins has said that the army will continue to engage criminals as Guyana is still under the threat of unlawful elements.

Brigadier Collins made the statement during the commissioning of the newly graduated ranks from the Col Ulric Pilgrim Officers Cadet School on Wednesday.

The ceremony was held at the Camp Ayanganna Drill Square and was attended by President Bharrat Jagdeo, Cabinet Secretary Roger Luncheon, and Home Affairs Minister Clement Rohee.

President Jagdeo delivered the feature address to the 27 troops from the Guyana Police Force, the Belize Defence Force, the Guyana Prison Service and the Guyana Fire Service, after decorating them with their Badges of Rank.

In his message, Collins told the ranks that they have graduated from the Colonel Ulric Pilgrim Officer Cadet School (CUPOCS) in a time of high operational tempo for the Joint Services.

He said during the period of training, the ranks conducted a series of successful anti-crime operations leading up to violence-free elections.

Collins remarked that regardless of these successes, the dangers have not all passed.

“Consequently, the Joint Services have to be on watch and be ready as we know the criminals have more plans. Thus the work ahead is difficult,” Collins said.

He urged the ranks to uncover criminal hideouts and face the complex choices that must be made.

According to the Chief of Staff, the officers are now part of the drama and must stand up to grave danger in order to establish peace.

“You will face times of calm and times of crisis, and every test will find you prepared because you're the men and women of CUPOCS,” the Chief of Staff said.

He added that the CUPOCS is more than a fine institution of learning, but is also the guardian of values that have shaped many leaders who contributed to history.

Collins noted that the ranks have answered a call to hardship, purpose, risk and honour, and begin a life of service in a career unlike any other.

“May you bring to that duty the high standards of this great institution,” Collins stated.

Best Student, 19-year-old Budeshwar Persaud said the course has been both physically and mentally challenging for him.

He said it was one of the most rewarding endeavours he has undertaken.

“It has taught me a lot about being a good leader, a team player and to make the best of every opportunity presented to me,” Persaud said.