I respectfully respond to the letter purportedly written by a concerned citizen “Swat Team is not being treated or utilized properly’ in the Kaieteur News of September 22, 2016 at page 5.
As the members of this elite unit have all, each and everyone distanced themselves from this expose, it seems rather strange and significantly so, that an unknown, of the affairs of this Unit, could peddle so much mischief and untruth, but this is the reality of the times. However the need to respond is above and much more compelling, in the light that the public, all citizens and key stakeholders, need to and will appreciate that the SWAT Unit , is too important, and invaluable, particularly as a part of a holistic crime fighting strategy, in the main.
Please be assured that the SWAT Unit of the Guyana Police Force is mentally and physically sound, under very good administration, focused, and ready to effectively respond in fulfilment of its role and functions.
This Unit is not idle and inactive. In fact it has successfully completed two (2) training engagements of an operational nature, one (1) in collaboration with the Joint Services in January, the other during POLICE DAY, at Durban Park in May this year. These aside, it continues to engage in the training of all the Divisional Anti Crime Patrols in the Country.
Additionally on several occasions the SWAT Unit provided security for VIP’s, performed High Profile escorts and played a leading role, in collaboration with over fifty (50) other officers and ranks during a major Anti Crime operation on the East Coast of Demerara, some two (2) weeks ago. So they are really very active.
The issue of Personal firearms has always been the Achille’s heel of certain members of the Force, as much as it is with the average public. Police Officers are expected to be brave, courageous dispassionate and unmoved in the face of threats to personal safety, for Policing is not for the faint of heart.
The Force has a Policy which provides guidance on the issuance of firearms full time, to its members, and it is serving the Force quite well.
Sometime soon, in fact in about six (6) weeks’ time, the Force will see a spanking new state of the art Gymnasium and all through the rank and file are expected to benefit, SWAT included. The matter of fitness for role is oftentimes a personal choice, these days, though by requirement it is expected that members of the Force keep themselves fit and ready to respond adequately, even though, this will come at a cost, since some choose to be a member of a name brand gym, instead of doing simple exercises that are devoid of a financial consideration.
In terms of the upkeep of the SWAT Unit, much has been done already. Unfortunately when those in direct command of Subordinates, neglect to pay much needed attention to little but important details of personal and habitation hygiene, the resultant situation can be depressing. However, as a call to order, and based on the elite nature of the SWAT Unit, and to maintain this eliteness, the Commanding Officer and the Officers below him, have been reminded to pay constant and more direct attention to the daily Administration of this important Unit.
To say that the external environment is an unsanitary one, is far from the truth, even though it is a fact that due to the rehabilitation of an important unit infrastructure, in close proximity, a level of discomfiture was envisaged, and is being minimized. But alas, where is much needed patience in these matters? Improvement has challenges and consequences.
Finally, rest assured that there is no crime situation in Berbice at this time of the type which will necessitate the SWAT Unit’s presence therein.
‘B’ Division is currently experiencing a thirteen percent (13%) decrease overall in serious crimes when compared with the same period in 2015. The only serious crime that has increased is Murder with twenty three (23) cases this year, against seventeen (17) last year. How do you really prevent a Murder/Homicide, which is the killing of a Human by a human being? Maybe this concerned citizen has useful ideas. But is he/she interested in being a part of the solution?
Serious crimes such as Robbery Under Arms involving the use of firearms, Robbery under Arms involving the use of other instruments, Rape, Break and Enter and Larceny, Burglary and Robbery with violence have all been reduced, by twenty five (25), five (5), thirty six (36), seventeen (17), twelve (12) and seventeen (17) percent respectively.
D. Ramnarine, DSM
(ag) Commissioner of Police