By Lesroy W. Williams Observer Reporter
” (Basseterre, St. Kitts) – For the very first time recruits of the Royal St. Christopher and Nevis Police Force and the St. Kitts and Nevis Fire Rescue Services graduated together. The graduation ceremony was held at the Police Training Complex on Oct. 28. Twenty-two recruits are now police constables and 14 recruits are now fire officers after 24 weeks of challenging physical and mental training. “I am very pleased to know that you have a better understanding of the government’s desire to provide security and maintain public order and safety for its constituents. I am also pleased to know that you now have a deeper appreciation for Law enforcement and have ever since this course began demonstrated the eagerness to go to work. For those reasons also I am extremely proud and do extend my heartiest congratulations,” Police Commissioner Austin Williams told the new officers. “We need well equipped forces to be up to the task to fight criminal activities and the threats faced by the modern world. There is no development without security and for development to continue we need all stakeholders on board,” the Commissioner said. The commissioner told the new officers that their work would entail more than enforcing the law. They would also be called upon to offer humanitarian services, whether it’s performing CPR on a heart attack victim or helping an elderly person after a fall. He highlighted that being a police officer is about offering a service to the community in helping to build the community. “It would be remiss of me if I made no mention of professionalism, good behavior and discipline. Too often we get complaints of inappropriate police action. We don’t need this. I will reward you handsomely for good dedicated police work, but I will likewise bring down the hammer for an abuse of your authority and office,” the Commissioner said. With 18 of the new officers coming from other Eastern Caribbean countries, the Commissioner thanked them for accepting the invitation to join the St. Kitts and Nevis Police Force. “I applaud you for the bold step you have taken and for your bravery. It is never easy to leave your homeland and go elsewhere to settle, much more to serve,” the Commissioner said. Minister of National Security, Prime Minister Dr. Denzil Douglas, gave the feature address. In his address he highlighted the importance of sustaining the peace, especially as the country transitions into a service-oriented economy. “As we transition into a service oriented economy we appreciate the importance and significance of sustaining the peaceful environment that will positively impact the prospects of economic growth and development in this our beloved country,” Dr. Douglas said. The Minister of National Security called upon the Security forces to improve their public image by maintaining high standards of ethical and professional conduct. He urged them to continue to build good relations with the community in order to gain the public’s trust and confidence. Crime knows no geographical bounds and requires that we get assistance in the areas where we need it, he said. “We have sought the professional assistance from renowned international agencies such as the Federal Bureau of Investigation in addressing gang violence and crime in general,” Dr. Douglas said. He said that the government remained committed to improving the Police Force through training and technical assistance because crime was high on the government’s agenda. Dr. Douglas commended the Fire and Rescue Services for the important role that they play and also highlighted the importance of training in this area. “The Fire and Rescue Services provide a critical service in the developmental processes of the Federation relative to domestic safety matters as well as civil aviation services. As a result, the officers who serve in this institution must always be prepared to perform at optimal levels, particularly in times of emergencies and disasters,” he said.” “I challenge you as leaders of the respective agencies to fulfill the solemn oath that you have taken in executing your role as officers of essential services in this country. Be exemplary in every sphere of your operation. Be effective managers and do not compromise your standards and the high ideals that built the institutions which you proudly represent here today. Yours is a call of service to humanity, while embracing the values that give us all a purpose to live and enjoy the fruits of years of hard work and achievement,” Dr. Douglas said. Of the 22 recent-graduated police constables, four are from St. Kitts and Nevis, eleven from Dominica, five from St.Vincent and the Grenadines and two from Grenada. The 14 fire and rescue officers are from St. Kitts and Nevis. PC’s Keithlyn Lewis, Kevin Fahie, James Hodge and Kevin Foster are from St.Kitts; Daniel John and Delroy Pope are from Grenada; Daniel Davy, Monthana Matthias, Marlon Ottley, Malien Johnny and Vivian Caesar are from the St.Vincent and the Grenadines. Jerry Watt, Kerwin Thomas, Lynchard Charles, Vernan George, Jonathan Carbon, Jimmy Giraudel, Shane Christmas, Josea Boudhouhall, Garry Paul, Everett Jno-Baptiste and Chad Cuffy are from Grenada. The 14 fire and rescue officers are Trevor Matthew, Ersdainne Williams, Dennis Morris, Raymond Beaupierre, Julio Williams, Hashim Stevens, Calvis Belle, Javier Caines, Tito Rosmond Merton Charles, Chenelle Storrod, Nigel Browne, Alex Richards and Sean Martin.