…city unable to pay workersThe Mayor and City Council (M&CC) has confirmed that its city Police Department is understaffed and as such, cannot protect citizens who conduct their business on a day-to-day basis in Georgetown.The unit is short of 100 men and women owing to the fact that City Hall is unable to pay its workers and employ new constables at this point in time.This is according to the Chief Constable of M&CC, Andrew Foo during an exclusive interview with Guyana Times on Thursday.“In terms of our constabulary, we are constrained in terms of our numbers. It’s not what we would have asked for (because) actually our authorised strength, in 2018, should have been 345. We are currently short of approximately maybe 100 officers,” Foo related.According to him, this affects the maximum performance of the City Constabulary. “If we had had those officers, the Constabulary would have been able to ensure that we are visibly present on the ground by way of foot patrols and even on bicycle patrols and vehicular patrols.”Foo stressed the importance of having uniformed Constables in and around the city as he noted that there have been reports of criminals being deterred from their actions.He, nevertheless, told this publication that he was hoping for the Council’s financial crisis to be dealt with the soonest which may very well help to lower the amount of crime in the city, since they will be able to recruit more Constables to patrol the city streets.It was explained by the Chief Constable that City Hall has put a freeze on the employment aspect, but this move has only put a dent in its operations.He said that the City Constabulary recognised the need for more Constables to be recruited and had conducted interviews with a numbers of persons, but was, however, unable to employ the applicants as a result of the crisis being experienced in M&CC.Back in 2016, the municipality was also understaffed by 140 City Constables, a Deputy Medical Officer of Health, a Pharmacist, a Practical Nurse, and clerks.A Councillor at that time said, “…only a third of the budgeted strength [of] this administration department is actually at work. There is no Deputy Medical Officer of Health, no Pharmacist, there’s no clerk II or practical nurse.”In January of the said year, the Chief Constable described the Constabulary as “very weak”.Foo further stated that that the performance and challenges within the department would be explored.According to him, the Constabulary which comprised 178 sworn officers and 65 auxiliary security guards, at the time, did not met the expectations of the department, owing to “trials and limitations”, including the lack of human and other resources.