Open letter to Guyana Police Force

Open letter to Guyana Police Force

Dear Editor,
This is an open letter to the Guyana Police Force.
Commissioner, senior and junior officers, inspectors and other ranks of the Guyana Police Force:
As I make this appeal to you, I would like you to know that I am not a member of any political party. My service in the Guyana Police Force for over 33 years has been nothing but professional, and, during that time, I strived to uphold and maintain the highest values and standards of a professional Police Force, which included staying away from political activism and sentiments.

Our beloved country is now at the edge of a precipice. Another step in the direction it has been moving since on or about March 3rd 2020 (at the GECOM Region 4 RO’s office in particular) will cause us to fall over that precipice and into unimaginable consequences from our own society and the international community. Those consequences will not only manifest into hardship and suffering for us, but also for our children, elder and younger relatives, and our relatives of the future.

Everything in my heart tells me that the people who had socialised in what was a home for me for 33 years do not want this to happen. Unfortunately, we cannot wish it away. My thinking and experience tell me that the anti-democratic action of a few in our society cannot bear fruit without support of the Police. Let us not throw our honour to the dogs; let not the necessity of public protection against deviance be submerged by outflows of sentimentality. It is on the Police that the society must rely for the immediate and effective protection of people’s constitutional guarantees. Let us not fail them.

The situation in our country is grave, and as we are aware, political efforts to bring us through have failed over and over. It is left to the Police to give life and meaning to the enjoyment of civil rights by the law-abiding members of our society. So, it is crucial that you do not act as you did at the Region 4 RO’s Office and the Arthur Chung Convention Centre, when you evicted people who had a legal right to be there and who were advancing the protection of the construction rights of the Guyanese people.

Let us not deny that every Government needs a rigorous Police Force to protect the rights of its citizens. However, let us understand that, in a free regime, the Police are employed against the minority that are opposed to the general good, as well as against abuse and negligence of the authorities. On the other hand, in a tyrannical regime, the Police are employed against ordinary and law-abiding people, who are delivered into the hands of injustice and impunity. In the latter case, the Police Force loses its professionalism, independence and control, and the people who suffer include relatives of police ranks, their friends and themselves. Is that what we want?

Please note that, should your actions at the two places I mentioned continue, you will find yourselves separated from the community. Such separation will create social distance that will increase the extent to which the Force could be controlled, and the extent to which the Police are seen as visible symbols of the Government and are targeted as such.

The society took note of the selective deployment of officers and ranks in the Force, as well as the use of excessive force by them. I am also aware that our learning and experiences gave us the understanding of the nature of human suffering, as well as the understanding of the moral contradiction of achieving just ends with coercive means. I appeal to you to use those understandings in giving instructions and taking action. I appeal to you to take professional action and save our dear country from the few dissidents. The society you serve has never been so heavily dependent on you in contemporary times. Be our heroes.

Yours sincerely,
Seelall Persaud,
Commissioner of Police

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