The strength of the Guyana Police Force (GPF) is short by over 2000, and Minister of Public Security Khemraj Ramjattan is making additional pleas for persons to come on board.
“The strength of the Police Force is between four and five thousand. We are two thousand policemen short because of a number of constraints including them not wanting to because of low salaries and other things. But we will be urging members to encourage persons to join the police force”, Ramajattan said, continuing that the force has an establishment strength of over 6,800, however, “we are short”.
As it stands now, the strength of the Community Policing Group, remains higher than the Police Force itself. Asked if he felt that the growing number of persons in Community Policing takes away from the human and other resources from the force itself, Ramjattan responded in the negative.
“I do not see it taking away resources from the police. As a matter of fact, I am seeing it as ancillary and supplemental to the police force, because they are not paid a salary and a lot of persons with the CPG have their own jobs and professional lives that keep them employed. And it is good to have persons who are financially independent to be part of the force”.
Ramjattan said there have been resources from the state that have been granted like vehicles and gears, “because sometimes a government has to help out because people are taking the risk day and night. Because we see that they have made arrests and have supplemented the police force in making those arrests”, he said
The minister said community policing establishes partnerships between the police and the public and it must be emphasised that problem-solving should be one of the basic core.
“There is a direction we must go that raises the root causes of crime that can be helped at the community level. So the training of community policing members will require money, too. And so if they decide to do some work on the ground we have to give them some money, all of that are part of this important business of policing”