Jagdeo promises police insurance scheme
Stabroek News
April 24, 2004

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President Bharrat Jagdeo has promised to set up an insurance scheme that would cover injuries suffered by policemen in the execution of their duties.

Jagdeo's promise came on Thursday at the opening of the three-day Annual Conference of Police Officers held at Eve Leary and was spurred by a call from Commissioner of Police Winston Felix.

President Jagdeo told him that even if it is found that it is not feasible to contract an insurance company to issue policies since this could be difficult, "what I am committed to is the establishment of a scheme."

He explained that the scheme would benefit on an annual basis from a sum of money allocated by the treasury.

Adding that he is more inclined to go down that road, Jagdeo said the police would manage the scheme and whether officers are injured or not they would benefit from it.

"I promise you that it will be done," he declared to a round of applause.

Mentioning the $1M given to relatives of slain police officers, Felix noted that the force assists injured police officers but according to him the force might be the only institution in the country whose members are not covered by a medical plan.

Speaking on another issue Felix said that it is important to make the roads safer but stressed they would have to develop plans to increase officers' visibility throughout the country and to manage the congestion in Georgetown.

Also they will need to expand their traffic education programme and engage in strategic enforcement of the traffic laws and regulations to minimise fatalities.

Plans will seek to resuscitate road safety associations throughout the country as well as a best-driver competition.

A sore point in this area, the commissioner said, is the fact that traffic records are paper-based and "criminal activities today demand rapid retrieval of records and this propels me to raise the issue of a partnership with the Guyana Revenue Authority in connection with the computerisation of those records which are regularly accessed by the police and which are unavailable to us at certain times of great need..."

Felix pointed out that while a case can be made for computerising traffic records, computerisation of other aspects of law enforcement would be pursued incrementally until the various parts can be networked.