Police Force honours 1,058 for good performance By Shirley Thomas
Guyana Chronicle
July 19, 2002

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THE Guyana Police Force, as part of its 163rd anniversary celebrations, has honoured 1,058 police ranks and members of community policing groups for creditable performance during the year.

This year's list of awardees includes 59 individual community policing group members and 52 community policing groups.

At a special awards ceremony at the Tactical Service Unit (TSU) Drill Square Wednesday, 20 police ranks, 17 community policing groups and 22 individual community policing members were presented with their awards by Commissioner of Police, Mr. Floyd McDonald. The others will receive their awards and certificates of commendation from the Police Finance Office later.

The awardees were honoured for exceptional work done in crime fighting, traffic enforcement, community policing, and a Police outreach programme.

Assistant Commissioner, Mr. E. Wills, DSM, said that since the inception of an award programme in 1990, a total of $54.3M in cash incentives and certificates of commendation have been distributed to a number of police ranks, community policing members and groups, in acknowledgement of their sterling performance and contribution to law enforcement.

Meanwhile, the Commissioner acknowledged the contribution of community policing groups and said the Force has embarked on a programme to intensify its relationship with such groups, because of the vital support they provide the police.

"To the members of the community policing group, we appreciate very much, the support you have been giving us, despite the difficulties and the risk that you face from time to time. Your service is voluntary, and you have not flinched from your support for the organisation," the top cop said.

He added: "In fact, we as an organisation cannot successfully combat crime and other infractions of the law without your support.

"That is the reason we have embarked upon a programme to intensify our relationship with the community policing groups because you provide vital support to us."

McDonald also congratulated the members of the Force and others receiving awards, and expressed appreciation to them for their unstinted cooperation.

Noting that the year so far - especially the last six months - has been filled with challenges for the Guyana Police Force, he said that it has nonetheless been able to withstand the pressures that have been placed on it, and will continue to ensure that law and order is maintained in the country.

And recalling that a number of ranks have come under "heavy gunfire" at some locations in an effort to capture criminals, he stated: "You are aware we are now going through some difficult times."

He said that the Force is going through some experiences it has not experienced "...as far as I'm aware - over the past 50-60 years."

"The challenges are very great," he said. "We are faced with violent crimes. We are faced with an unstable environment and an environment that is enabling for some amount of criminality to be conducted in the first place."

"But we in the Force have to intensify our efforts at capturing those criminals that have caused mayhem in our society", he declared.

"We have to ensure that we are resolute in our struggle to have them brought to justice," McDonald stressed.

He acknowledged there are limitations in the efforts to provide the Force with the necessary equipment to ensure the safety of ranks, and to provide them with the levels of protection that will prevent loss of life and injury.

He noted that to this end, the Force is in the process of acquiring new vehicles. Some have already been received, as well as protective gear and other items of equipment to make the service more efficient and flexible.

The Commissioner also thanked the media for their support and said he looks forward to their continued assistance in providing information to the public, and in supporting the Force in its efforts to ensure that peace and tranquility is maintained in the country.

"Guyana belongs to all of us, hence we need to work together to ensure that the situation is improved rather than get worse", he said.

He cautioned: "Remember that criminals have no allegiance to anyone but themselves, and will do anything to get what they want. So those who may want to feel that the criminals will not attack them are making a mistake."