At farewell ceremony…
Retired officer challenges remaining Police on image building
Guyana Chronicle
July 17, 2004

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SENIOR Superintendent Samuel Thomas who retired yesterday appealed to remaining members of the Police Force to seriously take up the challenge of image building which, he said, is very much needed now.

He said the law enforcement agency, under the leadership of Commissioner Winston Felix, is a new force and the task could begin simply with cops on or off duty presenting themselves to the public in a professional manner.

Mr. Thomas declared that the continuing policemen and policewomen should be proud to serve in such an organisation that has been in existence for 165 years.

“Your appearance, in or out of uniform, will greatly assist in this fight to improve the image of the Police Force,” he stressed.

Thomas threw out the challenge when he was bade a grand farewell by other officers and ranks at Leonora, West Coast Demerara, in Police ‘D’ Division, after 34 years in the Force.

The ceremony was attended by Commissioner Felix and Deputy Commissioner Edward Wills, as well as close family members and relatives of the retiree.

After taking his final salute before returning to civilian life, Thomas remarked that attitude towards the public is very important because, without the community help, the Police would not be able to do their work effectively.

“You have to treat each man and woman equally, regardless of their status in life, whether rich, poor, handsome or ugly,” he admonished his colleagues.

Thomas also said it is important for Police ranks to upgrade their all-round knowledge in order for the Force to grow.

Juniors must be willing to equip themselves to take up leadership positions, by seeking to qualify and face the new challenges the Force would encounter in the image rebuilding quest, he stated.

“If ranks pay more attention to their own personal development, they would be able to perform their duties in a more efficient and effective way. Their social status must also be improved by being able to own property, for example and not wait until retirement to acquire such assets,” Thomas advised.

He said policemen and policewomen must look beyond becoming watchmen or watchwomen after retirement and move on to do better.

Thomas was recruited in 1970 and served in ‘A’, ‘D’ and 'E&F' Divisions, as well as the Tactical Services Unit (TSU).

He was briefly the Divisional Commander of ‘D’ Division.

Thomas got his first promotion to Corporal in 1975 and was promoted Sergeant in 1978, Inspector in 1984, Assistant Superintendent in 1989, Deputy Superintendent in 1995, Superintendent in 1998 and Senior Superintendent in 2000.

He thanked the other senior officers in the Force for placing confidence in him and attributed his successful career to their support.