Force celebrates 164th anniversary with route march
July 6, 2003
THE Guyana Police Force (GPF) yesterday held a route march through the streets of Georgetown as part of the activities to mark its 164th anniversary.
The celebration comes at a time when the Police Force has registered success in reducing the criminal activities that had gripped the country for so long. The success, however, has come at a price, since in recent times, members of the Force have been deliberately targetted and killed by criminal elements.
Over a 15-month period, 22 law enforcement officers have been killed. According to the Government Information Agency (GINA) the GPF is to pay tribute to these fallen heroes on July 27.
The Guyana Police Force is one of the oldest institutions in Guyana. It was established on July 1, 1839 - one year after the abolition of slavery - primarily to curb the perceived attacks on the colony’s sugar plantations by emancipated workers who had endured the burden of slave labour and experienced the break-up of their families, the rape of their women folk and the uprooting of their cultural heritage.
As time elapsed, the Force evolved into a “keeper of good order”, and by September 23, 1929, when the first known Police Regulations were enacted, its functions had centered on “the prevention and detention on crime, the preservation of law and order, the preservation of the peace, the repression of internal disturbance, the protection of property, the apprehension of offenders, the due enforcement of all laws and regulations with which it is directly charged and the performance of such military duties within Guyana as may be required of it by or under the authority of the Minister.”
The GPF is headed by a Commissioner, who is assisted by three Deputy Commissioners, 10 Assistant Commissioners and a number of other Senior Officers in the management and operation of the institution.
After 164 years, the GPF has achieved much in terms of recruitment, traffic regulations, improved weaponry, improved intelligence and welfare packages for law enforcement officers.
Millions of dollars have been spent on the GPF to enhance the capability and skills of law enforcement officers, whose motto is to “Serve and Protect the Public.”
Additionally, the GPF is intensifying training both locally and internationally. The various departments are being provided with duty-effective equipment to enhance investigative techniques and prosecution skills.
Recently, 19 police ranks graduated from a prosecutor’s course, which was a collaborative effort by the GPF, the University of Guyana and the Institution of Distance and Continuing Education (IDCE).
Additionally, 10 police officers were given the opportunity through the American Embassy in Guyana to benefit from a training programme in Trinidad and Tobago. This is in an effort to increase the force’s skills in detecting and curbing kidnappings that have occurred in Guyana.
There are four training centres here in Guyana where recruits are trained-the `Felix Austin Training School’, located at Eve Leary compound which was named after a former Commissioner of Police. The other three are located on the East Coast of Demerara, at Suddie, Essequibo Coast, and at Adventure, Berbice.
The highest standards of courtesy, discipline and professionalism are taught. Some areas covered at the Police Premier Training Institution include Human Rights and Humanitarian Law; Traffic Management; Community Policing; Criminal Law; First Aid; Arms Drill; Office Security and Domestic Violence.
The GPF recruits are required to be physically fit and mentally sound Guyanese between the ages of 18 and 30 years, with either a sound Primary or Secondary education. Applicants must successfully complete an entrance examination, in addition to a medical and background check.