Faced with a growing crime problem in the country, the Guyana Police Force on Thursday announced that 27 of its ranks have commenced training to become part of the SWAT unit. Training should be completed within the next four months and the special tactical unit should go into full operation by June of this year.
The training will focus heavily on discipline and tactics to defuse volatile situations. Commissioner of Police Leroy Brummel said training will also focus on professionalism. The Police Force has been heavily criticized in the past for the unprofessional conduct of many of its ranks. Through the SWAT unit, the force is trying to change that reputation.
Back in October, the Government of Guyana signed a contract with the consultant group, The Emergence Group of the United States for the setting up of the SWAT unit for the Guyana Police Force.
The Emergence Group has worked across the globe to set up Law Enforcement and Justice Sector Reform programmes.
Home Affairs Minister Clement Rohee admitted that he is no “security expert” but noted that there is a need for a special unit like the SWAT. He has in the past indicated that he believes the new unit will be able to play a critical role in the crime fight.
Guyana recorded over 150 murders in 2013, most of them being gun crimes. Last year also saw an increase in armed robberies and other violent crimes.
This year has already recorded over 25 murders.