Harris, who is also the Minister of National Security, made the appeal on Sunday March 3 at the Calvary Baptist Tabernacle in Romney Ground, Sandy Point where a special service of appreciation and thanksgiving for officers of Her Majesty’s Prison was held.
“I want to use this opportunity to encourage more persons to apply for vacancies in our security services,” appealed Dr Harris. He revealed that there were about 100 vacancies in the country’s security forces and not just at Prisons, but at the Defence Force, at the Police Force, and at the Fire Department. “We have about 100 spots waiting for disciplined, hardworking young men and women to join these services.”
Harris outlined that for the peace and security of the country, more men and women are required to stand with the law enforcement across the various disciplines. He advised that the government has made provisions for persons to excel and to go as far as they can in any of the career path within the government service.
Advising that skilled persons are required for law enforcement, Harris assured that the Team Unity Government has provided for those who would want to go and do their degrees to do so, and when they come back they will be rewarded within the areas of law enforcement they find themselves.
“We therefore want you to bear that in mind as you go around the communities and you see young men in particular being idle,” said Dr Harris. “I want to encourage the parents and guardians that they can’t be too picky and keep the children home continuing to be lazy because they are waiting for the perfect job. There is no perfect job.”
Accompanying Harris to the appreciation and thanksgiving service were Cabinet colleagues, the Hon Eugene Hamilton, the Hon Lindsay Grant, and the Hon Vincent Byron. Others included Permanent Secretaries, Mr Osmond Petty of National Security, and Vincent William Hodge of Education; National Security Adviser Major General (Retired) Stewart Saunders; First Prime Minister and only living National Hero the Rt Hon and Rt Excellent Sir Kennedy Simmonds, and Lady Simmonds; and former Senator Mr Ralph Gumbs.
Six current prison officers and two retired prison officers were awarded at the special service. Her Majesty’s Prison’s contingent was led by Acting Superintendent of Prison Mr Denzil Harris who praised the committed and hardworking officers and advised those who were awarded not to take the awards and become complacent as they had served with great honour and they should continue to commit themselves to their responsibilities to make the Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis a better place.
The Reverend Dr Calvin O. Hazel, who delivered a message captioned ‘Man out of control’, said the special service of appreciation and thanksgiving for officers of Her Majesty’s Prison was held “to show our appreciation for what they have been doing in this great land of ours.”
Dr Hazel further noted: “I do not think we are doing enough to appreciate these officers, whether they are police officers, prison officers, or those in the army. They are doing a tremendous job. When many of us are fast asleep, they keep the peace, watching over us so that we may have a good night’s rest.”