Slain cops remembered
July 8, 2004
With a strong emphasis on the solving of gun crimes, the Guyana Police Force yesterday paid out over three million dollars in awards to members of the force and community policing groups for their sterling contribution in the continued fight against criminals.
Started in the early 1990’s by former Commissioner Laurie Lewis, the scheme has expanded over the years. It has now grown to more than $50M.
The aim is to reward ranks who performed beyond the call of duty by doing work that led to the arrest and prosecution of criminal elements in the society.
At an elaborate ceremony held at the Police Officers’ Mess Hall, Eve Leary, on the occasion of the force’s 165th anniversary, four ranks were presented with high commendation awards, having performed their duties at an exceptional level.
Heading the list were Deputy Superintendent West of the Tactical Services Unit, and Detective Assistant Superintendent Winston Cosbert of East Coast Demerara.
Also receiving high commendation awards were Constable Gavin Ricknauth, who was wounded in a shootout with bandits at Success, East Coast Demerara and Corporal Garnett, whose diligence led to the arrest of a larceny suspect.
Ranks from the police East Coast Division received the most awards, having been in the forefront of the fight against crime.
Addressing the ranks before presenting the awards, Police Commissioner Winston Felix commended them for ensuring that they all benefit from the public good.
He however urged that ranks should not only be satisfied with good work but must also strive for excellence.
“We have expanded the awards. It is not a gift, but a benefit for hard work,” Felix said.
The commissioner warned ranks not to commit excesses. He even upbraided ranks, who he said, was giving the force a bad name.
He cited a recent newspaper report, which implicated a party of policemen in an extortion scheme.
“We must commit ourselves to get rid of those who besmirch the image of the Guyana Police Force. I would be much happier now if I did not have to deal with criminal matters allegedly committed by policemen. This keeps us in a defensive position. We do not like it,” Felix stated.
He urged those receiving awards to use it as an example for others to follow.
Nine hundred and eighty-eight policemen and women received cash incentives.
Among them were six ranks from A Division, who were on roadblock duties at Providence in March when they apprehended a vehicle that contained a quantity of firearm including two AK-47 rifles, one of which had its number erased. The ranks also recovered a number of satellite phones during the operation.
Constable Ricknauth received two awards. In the first instance, he along with eight other ranks was on a roadblock duty at Ogle when they discovered 36 kilograms of cocaine in a car. The ranks also found a 9mm Browning pistol.
In the second operation, Constable Ricknauth and a party of policemen were on patrol on the East Coast on April 4 when they responded to a transmission on their radio set that a robbery was in progress at Success.
They immediately proceeded to the scene where they confronted the bandits. There was an exchange of gunfire and Constable Ricknauth was shot. One of the bandits was fatally wounded.
Assistant Superintendent Cosbert spearheaded the ensuing investigation that led to the other bandit being charged.
Twelve members of the Tactical Services Unit were also awarded for their action that led to the fatal shooting of a bandit and the arrest of two others during a robbery in West Ruimveldt.
Ranks from the unit were also instrumental in rescuing a student of the Critchlow Labour College after she was kidnapped on February 26.