Leslie James takes charge of Guyana Police Force

first_img… “It’s something I always wanted”Former Commander of A (Georgetown-East Bank Demerara), C (East Coast Demerara) and D (West Bank Demerara-East Bank Essequibo) Divisions Leslie James was on Thursday sworn in by President David Granger as the Police Commissioner. The executive decision was made following consultations with Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo on the same day.Speaking to members of the media at State House, the 52-year-old James said he has always wanted to be Police Commissioner.“This moment is a moment I’ve always waited for and now being appointed Commissioner of Police, (I will function) without favour, affection, malice or ill-will,” he committed.James added that he is fully aware of his mandate which includes ensuring that all of the laws of Guyana are maintained and that public peace is kept in a “professional and unbiased manner.”“I will execute the office of Commissioner of Police and ensure that persons in the Diaspora and overseas to be assured of their respective security,” James assuredLeslie James was on Thursday appointed as the new Police Commissionerthe nation.On tackling the scourge of crime, the newly appointed Top Cop said the Guyana Police Force will be maintained as intelligence-led. He said too that the Force will ensure the country, its environs, borders, interior locations be crime-free as much as possible.“I will be meeting with my team and we will sit, deliberate and strategise. I’m aware of the concerns of crime and fear and incidence of crime but we will be dealing with those matters,” he outlined.James holds a host of qualifications including a Law Degree obtained from the University of Guyana (UG) in 2006 and a Diploma in Public Management he acquired in 1998 from the said institution. He is also currently enrolled in the Commonwealth Masters Public Administration at UG. The new Top Cop also headed the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) from April 2014 to June 2015 during the time he functioned as Assistant Commissioner Law Enforcement.It was said that James’ appointment takes immediate effect along with the appointments of four deputies – Lyndon Alves, Maxine Graham, Nigel Hoppie and Crime Chief Paul Williams.When President Granger presented the list, David Ramnarine, who has been acting in the capacity for almost two years, was not included.Earlier this year, Ramnarine was one of the many law enforcement ranks questioned at a Paul Slowe-headed Commission of Inquiry into an alleged plot to assassinate President Granger. The most recent Top Cop retiree, Seelall Persaud, was said to be a friend of the man who supposedly hatched the plot. Slowe recommend disciplinary action for several top-ranking officers and he was later selected to head the Police Services Commission (PSC). Persaud departed the Force in February 2018 and Ramnarine stood in the post until Thursday’s swearing in of James.The new Top Cop’s four deputies will be responsible for four areas of the Force; these are operations, administration, law enforcement and special branch/ intelligence. President Granger who is the head of the Armed Forces said “I think the process has resulted in the best five being selected… I think this is the best outcome and they are all fit and proper persons to lead the Police Force”. After the meeting concluded, President Granger said the responsibilities of the four deputies will improve the Force’s efficiency.“What we have done today is we have not only appointed a Police Commissioner but we have also improved the architecture of the Police Force so that instead of having a flat structure; we now have clearly defined responsibilities in those four deputy Commissioners. So, things will be better. I am sure there will be better performance in those areas and other officers can now look forward to, in due course, filling those appointments. It will help to enhance the specialisation of the Police Force. It will help to spur the career mobility of officers and I am convinced that the efficiency of the Police Force as a whole will be enhanced,” the Head of State said.The President said he expected to meet with the new Commissioner and deputies on Thursday to discuss their appointments to each of the four areas identified.“I was not interested in having a foreigner head the Guyana Police Force. I felt that we had local talent. I think the process has resulted in the best five being selected to lead the Force and I will be meeting later today with the Commissioner and deputy Commissioners. I think this is the best outcome and they are all fit and proper persons to lead the Police Force,” Granger added.Reports were that Public Security Minister Khemraj Ramjattan recommended Ramnarine for the post of Top Cop though he was not considered for the post or that of the Deputy Commissioner. Meanwhile, in a press conference held following the announcement, Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo revealed that he questioned the President as to why Ramnarine was not considered for the post and was told by Granger that there are specific reasons. Those reasons, were however, not revealed.The President in recent weeks professed that he wanted an “unbribable” officer to head the Force. Assistant Police Commissioner Clifton Hicken and Marlon Chapman were among those interviewed for the top post. The Guyana Police Force was established 179 years ago. (Shemuel Fanfair)last_img read more