Basseterre, St. Kitts, May 03, 2013 (SKNIS): Members of Division ‘B’ within the Royal St. Christopher and Nevis Police Force turned out to bid a fond farewell to Sergeant Joseph Gerald who retired from the force on May 01, after 31 years of national service.
The Dieppe Bay Police Station was the venue for a recognition and appreciation ceremony on Thursday (May 2), where tributes were paid honouring Sgt. Gerald as a meticulous, soft-spoken, cautious and effective motivator and leader.
Division ‘B’ Commander Superintendent Terrence James recalled his first encounter with Sgt. Gerald occurred in 1987 at Camp Springfield. Gerald was attached to the Special Services Unit (SSU) and James, who was a rookie at the time, explained that the encounter changed his life.
“I was there reading a western comic book and Sgt. Gerald turned to me and he told me ‘boy what’s that you’re reading? Why don’t you read your Neatbook? You just come from training school’,” Superintendent James recounted, referring to a book used by recruits to document notes on policing techniques during basic training. “From that day, every time I was working in the Guard Room with Sgt. Gerald, I always walked with my Neatbook to the Guard Room and that was what encouraged me to start reading to do my police examination and from that I was able to pass my first police examination being in the SSU.”
Assistant Commissioner of Police Mirelees Dolphin stated that he worked with Sgt. Gerald in various capacities in the past. He stressed that Gerald was a great asset to the force.
“I believe that the officers in Old Road will miss him a lot because he’s a very good team player when it comes to the organization,” ACP Dolphin stressed. “He dedicated himself to the organization and gave it his all. … On behalf of the Commissioner and the other senior ranks in the police organization I extend to you our good wishes for all that you do in your future.”
Speaker after speaker shared stories of experiences they had with the former head of the Old Road Police Station which provided light moments for the Gerald family, gazetted officers and the rank and file in attendance. Gift presentations were made on behalf of the High Command, Division ‘B’, The Police Welfare Association, the Old Road Police Station and others.
Sgt. Gerald noted that he initially planned to spend 10 years in the Force but his commitment resulted in a 30 year career. He expressed gratitude for the kind sentiments articulated during the ceremony.
“Superintendent [James], on behalf of my wife and my entire family, I am saying thank you very much to you and your entire staff and everyone who was instrumental in organizing and putting this together,” he said emphatically. “May the good Lord continue to bless, guide and keep everyone of you because policing is getting more and more difficult every day.”
Corporal Matthew McGuire has replaced Sgt. Gerald as the head of the Old Road Police Station.