The Guyana Police Force is reporting a huge backlog in applications for recruits, with some applications dating back to 2015.
During Tuesday’s airing of episode 19 of ‘Police and You’, Force Training Officer, Superintendent Shivpersaud Bacchus said the force is currently dealing with a situation where there are roughly 75 applications per week. He said those applicants are usually walk-ins.
But with the standard six-month training for recruits currently discontinued because of the COVID-19 pandemic, Bacchus said the situation has become worrisome.
He couldn’t give a timeline for when the training will restart – a process that would see only 270 persons being trained every six months. A total of 540 recruits are trained each year by the force stacked against an estimated 3,000 applications annually.
“…hence the backlog. We have persons on a waiting list… some possibly since 2015 still waiting,” Bacchus said.
According to the training officer, there are daily walk-ins of 10 – 15 persons seeking employment with the force. He now eagerly awaits the restart of training for recruits.
“As soon as they are ready to proceed with the training for recruits we will advertise via the electronic media and persons will be notified.
According to the superintendent, there is a reason why persons have been applying in such large numbers.
“The Guyana Police Force affords job security, people look at job security and maybe they want to serve their country by being a police. When you join the organisation there are certain disciplines to be brought out.”
Based on the force’s 2015 Annual Report which was tabled in Parliament, the strength of the force was 3,610 then. Full strength would have been 3, 640, showing a meager manpower shortage. A review of the reports produced for the years 2013 – 2016, shows there is an increase in the numbers of recruits trained.
In 2019, there was a national discussion on increasing the qualifications required to join the force in a bid to increase the capacity of police ranks to provide a high quality of service to the Guyanese public.
The Guyana News Agency understands that the current academic requirement to join the force is five CXC/CSEC subjects, however, that is not regularly upheld and a sound secondary education tends to suffice.
Bacchus did not provide an updated position on the academic qualifications necessary for entry now. A background check is usually done and persons are expected to successfully complete the entrance examination. Applicants are also required to be examined by a government medical officer and certified as fit before being placed on the final list to undergo the six-month training.
Persons with an interest in joining the Guyana Police Force can fill out applications at any of the regional police headquarters. There are three police training colleges but most recruits are trained at the Eve Leary, Georgetown Training School which was renamed the Felix Austin Police College in August 1987, as a tribute to retired Commissioner Felix Austin.