Gail Teixeira shares her experiences with policing reform and domestic security issues during her tenure as minister of home affairs in Guyana, first as acting minister in 2004 and then officially in the post from 2005 to 2006. She describes in detail the process of establishing a functioning civilian police force, including the utilization of community-based rural constables and volunteer neighborhood police as well as the more macro-level issues of donor relations and compliance with international norms as identified by the United Nations. She provides a compelling account of the challenge of adhering to the cultural and historical expectations of the people at the same time that outside financial assistance and training is going on. The decentralization of the reforms and the policing system are of particular interest, especially in the face of drug-related gang activities.
At the time of this interview, Gail Teixeira was serving as a member of Guyana's Parliament as well as an adviser to President Bharrat Jagdeo on governance. Her comments center on her experiences as minister of home affairs from 2004 to 2006.