The police’s 2022-2026 strategic management plan appears to be top secret

Mr Editor

Top Cop, Clifton Hicken, in his first speech after being appointed Acting Commissioner of Police, boasted that the Guyana Police had a new Strategic Management Plan 2022 – 2026. A Guyana Police press release, issued after the recent signing of the Memorandum of Understanding Agreement between the Guyana Industrial Training Center and the Guyana Police Force, quoted Chief Superintendent of Police Calvin Brutus posing as an Acting Deputy Commissioner saying that the signed agreement was part of the GPF’s five-year strategic management plan 2022 – 2026. According to Brutus, the Plan emphasizes training and development. This 2022 – 2026 Strategic Management Plan appears to be Top Secret. Ask the general members of the GPF Executive Leadership Team about the plan, they will not only be at sea, but far out in the ocean struggling to explain it to you. Non-commissioned officers, inspectors and non-commissioned officers contacted are not aware of the plan. They have the majority of the police ranks under their command, but they cannot convey to their subordinates what is contained in their strategic management plan 2022 – 2026 because they do not know it. If the plan really exists, it is stuck at the very top of management in the GPF. The burning questions are many: When was this New Plan conceptualized, designed and developed? What consultations were made and with whom? Have the police looked at international best practices? Was outside help sought from experts or was the plan developed by unskilled and inexperienced members of the Force? Have they identified strategic risks? Has the plan been compressed into a single document or is it in several pieces scattered all over the place? Has it been distributed to at least all officers? Would there be an evaluation? Did the police plagiarize? There are many other questions to ask. The words of reggae singer, Johnny Nash, keep ringing in my ears: “There are more questions than answers, and the more I discover, the less I know. »

Factual Background: On February 23, 2011, Simon Reeves, Director of Capita Symonds, submitted to Khemraj Rai, Program Coordinator, Citizen Security Program, the Guyana Police Strategic Plan 2011-2015, for approval and possible implementation. The plan was part of the Citizen Security Program, funded by the Inter-American Development Bank. It is based on five pillars: (1) Operational Priorities (2) People (3) Partnerships (4) Performance and (5) Infrastructure. Space does not allow me to go into details. The plan identified twenty-five strategic risks and recommended that the GPF develop a strategic risk management plan to identify mitigation measures and monitor the continued relevance of each risk as well as to identify emerging risks. The following are some of the strategic risks: Alleged and perceived corruption within the GPF will negatively affect public confidence in the police; GPF staff may be reluctant to change, so activities outlined in the Plan may not be carried out or will have to be delayed; The Ministry of Interior does not have a strategic management plan to guide the GPF; Insufficient human resources will be made available to the GPF to implement the strategic management plan; There will be implications for the nature and type of crime in Guyana due to population growth and/or an influx of non-Guyanese nationals; Succession planning will be insufficient to ensure that qualified resources are in place to execute the plan; GPF managers will not be equipped to deal with new and emerging challenges arising from modernization; An increase in Guyana’s economy may increase demands on the GPF that cannot be handled with existing resources. These risks were then relevant. They are even more relevant now. They look us straight in the eye.

The Government of Guyana has accepted the 2011-2015 Strategic Management Plan and has begun the process of implementation. Monthly meetings were held at the Home Office with the minister and key police personnel to discuss the strategic management plan and the comprehensive one-year training plan, among other elements of the citizen security program. I attended these meetings as the Force Training Officer responsible for the Training Plan led by the United States Emergency Group. I vividly remember Deputy Commissioner of Police David Ramnarine, who was part of the police team and got into trouble with Minister Clement Rohee when he was bold enough to complain about the monthly trek to Brickdam and the political interference. The 2011-2015 strategic management plan has seen many stops and restarts. In fact, Commissioner Seelall Persaud abandoned the plan and disbanded the police’s strategic management unit despite the fact that the head of that unit, Pàrick Mentore, had made real progress with his limited human and other resources. The unit, which was once headed by an assistant commissioner of police, is now under the control of an inexperienced assistant superintendent of police. It is full of staff who are neither experienced nor skilled in strategic thinking and management.

I have not seen the new 2022 – 2026 Strategic Management Plan. I have heard a few words about the plan from Chief Superintendent Brutus, these are: Operational Priorities, People and Partnerships, Performance and L ‘infrastructure. Sound familiar? These are the legs of the 2011 – 2015 strategic management plan. I don’t know if the new plan is also based on these five legs or if one of the legs has been cut off and new legs have been added. Is it basically a copy of the previous plan with very few changes? Whatever the Plan, it must be understood, valued and communicated to all GPF members for effective implementation. Additionally, the public must be aware of what their protectors have in store for them in order to promote and maintain public confidence in the Force. Strategic management is important for any police force, more so for the Guyana police force. The Plan is about changes. It is about reform. Most reforms fail because authorities focus on the agents of change while the victims of change are neglected. The victims of change are the people in the organization who will be negatively affected by the changes. They must be endowed with the necessary adaptive capacities to cope with change. Unrelated rules lead to rebellion. Effective communication is the cornerstone of any law enforcement agency, whether written, oral, top-down, bottom-up, lateral, formal, informal, internal or external. Let communication about the 2022 – 2026 Strategic Management Plan flow freely from the top of management at Ground Zero, to the general public that the police are sworn to serve and protect. May God guide and bless the Guyana Police.

Sincerely,

Clinton Conway

Deputy Police Commissioner

(retirement)

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