Months after the planned billion-dollar British Department For International Development (DFID) Security Sector Reform Action Plan (SSRAP) fell through, the government of Guyana launched its own Citizens’ Security Programme (CSP) yesterday. Addressing a gathering of senior and junior police ranks, Home Affairs Minister Clement Rohee said that when the SSRAP failed, many prophets of dooms were celebrating. However, he said that his administration was confident of putting together its own programme to reform the security sector.
The programme is funded by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) to the tune of US$22M and will run over a three-year period.
The first training programme, which was designed locally, will be executed by the Emergence Group, a consulting firm from the United States that is specialised in working with governments internationally in formulating and implementing rule of law and criminal justice issues.
According to David Bodie, Programme Director of the Emergence Group, clients normally identify what their needs are and his group then works toward achieving those goals. The current training programme is the first of eighteen courses that will be executed over an 80-day period.
During that time, six areas have been identified as part of the training schedule. They range from investigation and detection of crime to equipping police force and addressing human rights issues.
Bodie informed that the programme is designed to reflect the needs and resources of the country. He said that although his company will be putting forward new ways of addressing security matters that are internationally recognised, the programme will draw upon the local talents of the police force to serve as a guide.
Bodie explained that during the conceptualisation of the programme, wide-ranging consultations were conducted with different sections of the society to ensure that the venture is reflective of the masses.
Minister Rohee also said that the launching of this programme is testimony to the government’s commitment to the security sector. The Minister believes that although the current undertaking is a more than useful one, it is just the beginning of a number of such initiatives that will be done with the police force.
Rohee mooted more changes and training for the security sector upon completion of a comprehensive strategic plan for the organisation. He said that the plan will take into account additional training programmes that the current programme excludes.
For this, the Minister heaped praises on Commissioner of Police, Henry Greene. He said that it is under the Top Cop’s stewardship that the current programmes have been formulated and they will leave a lasting legacy, which will transform the force into a modern and efficient unit.