With the Guyana Police Force looking to develop an air wing as part of its modernisation agenda, President Dr Irfaan Ali has announced that the organisation will soon be outfitted with a surveillance chopper.
Addressing residents of Grove, East Bank Demerara (EBD) on Friday, the President explained that the chopper would be utilised to conduct aerial surveillance of the country to aid in crime-fighting efforts.
Last year, Acting Commissioner of Police, Clifton Hicken, during the Force’s 184th Anniversary Awards Ceremony, announced that the organisation is moving to establish an air wing in order to enhance its capacity.
At the time, he had explained that the air wing will either be established in conjunction with the Guyana Defence Force (GDF) or separately.
Moreover, he had revealed that two pilots attached to the Police Force were sent for advanced training in Miami, USA. Aeronautical engineers were also being trained to complement the pilots for the Force’s air wing.
The GPF is also in the process of developing its marine division. President Ali told the residents on Friday that landing docks will be established throughout the Demerara River along the East Coast and East Bank.
Last month, at the sod turning ceremony for the new US$28 million 12-storey Police Headquarters at Brickdam, Georgetown, President Ali had announced plans to enhance the GPF’s defence capabilities, noting that “we’re building out for the first time a Marine Division that would be capable of utilising our river assets in crime positioning, crime fighting and proactive intelligence work. So right now, we are in the process of acquiring state-of-the-art marine assets to support the work of the Guyana Police Force.”
During his presentation of the 2024 Budget, Finance Minister Dr Ashni Singh had revealed that a total of $1 billion is proposed to be expended this year to expand the Police Force’s land and water fleet.
He said this would include the purchase of additional vehicles, boats, and engines.
Last year, $900 million was expended to advance procurement of additional motorcycles, pick-ups, boats, motorcars, and trucks for the GPF.
In totality, $30.3 billion was allotted to the Police Force in Budget 2024.