first_img– as New Year breaks without Police Service CommissionBack in 2017, President David Granger had assured that by year end, the Police Service Commission would be reconstituted. This however, has not happened and the People’s Progressive Party (PPP) is expressing concerns over the commission being in limbo.Former Home Affairs Minister Clement RoheeDuring the PPP’s end of year press conference, the Opposition’s point man on security, Clement Rohee, took the Government to task for its unfulfilled promise. According to Rohee, the fact that no consultative process has commenced to identify persons for the Commission is significant.“The President, making a reckless statement, pronounced that he will ensure that by the end of 2017 (December 31), he will have in place a new Police Service Commission. This, of course, is virtually impossible given the consultative process that has to be conducted in order for members of the Commission to be identified to serve,” Rohee said.“As a result of the absence of a Police Service Commission, there’s not likely to be any (senior) promotions, which is traditional at the end of each year. So promotions will be absent from the leadership of the Police Force at the end of 2017. In addition, President Granger had announced that the one-month bonus would not be granted to members of the disciplined forces once again.”With that in mind, the former Home Affairs Minister classified the pledge to reconstitute the Commission as just another empty promise. With effect from the last day of the year 2017, 204 junior Police ranks were promoted. No one above the rank of Sergeant was promoted.The life of previous Commission came to an end in September 2017The Police Service Commission is tasked with promotions of officers above the rank. It also handles disciplinary matters for officers. The life of the previous Commission ended in September. Last year, the previous Commission had prepared a list of senior officers to promote; that is, until directives were given by Granger to halt the promotions.In August, former PSC Chairman Omesh Satyanand had made known that after a meeting with the other commissioners it was decided that they were going to adhere to the order to halt all promotions until further notice.Even the Chairman had expressed concern that halting the entire promotion process would be a blow to senior officers. He had noted that these officers have invested time and energy in building a career at the Guyana Police Force and were expecting their just reward.But noting that this was the first time a sitting President had issued such a directive to the Commission, he had called for some clarity and justification as to the circumstances that led to making such a decision.A perusal of the PSC’s list would show that among those who were scheduled to be promoted were several senior officers who were hauled before the Commission of Inquiry (COI) into an assassination plot against President David Granger.Some of the chosen ones included Assistant Commissioner of Police Clifton Hicken. He was tipped to be promoted to Deputy Commissioner of Police, Senior Superintendent Wendell Blanhum had been lined up for Assistant Commissioner.Head of Special Branch, Brian Eastman, was also listed to become a Senior Superintendent of Police, while Head of Major Crimes, Assistant Superintendent Mitchell Caesar had been recommended for Deputy Superintendent.Over the course of the CoI, a number of officers were summoned and even upbraided for their work during the investigation. Besides the senior officers, junior officers were also criticised by Assistant Commissioner Paul Slowe, who was appointed by the President.While the President had justified this move by saying that concerns were expressed about the officers, a court ruling had declared that the intervention was unconstitutional. In the November 22 court ruling on halting the promotion list, the Chief Justice (acting) established that the President did breach the Constitution when he issued a directive to halt promotions.last_img

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