By: St. Clair Sazam Hull
(CHARLESTOWN NEVIS)- On the morning of Monday January 6, 2014, The Royal St. Christopher and Nevis Police Force Nevis Division conducted its annual New Year’s Retreat under the theme, “Strengthening Partnership to Build a Safer Community” at the Charlestown Police Station Recreational Center.
The ceremony began with the invocation by Pastor Euclid Lawrence. This was followed by the National Anthem.
Chairperson of ceremony, Superintendant Mr. Hilroy Brandy gave the opening remarks. He told his colleagues, that 2013 is now in the history books and for all those whose goals were not fulfilled they should not be deterred. He urged them to keep persisting. He encouraged those in attendance, to keep working diligently and to let their performance speak for itself. Mr. Brandy also noted that the Nevis Division is about to enter the final year of a three-year strategic plan, and some changes will be made in order to accomplish the goals that were set in an effort to alleviate crime.
He indicated that the three-year plan is to reduce crime by thirty percent (30%) at the end of 2014. He claimed that despite some shortfalls, they were able to remove six illegal weapons from the streets over in the latter stages of 2013 and ten hardened criminals were incarcerated. In closing, the Superintendent stated that if his officers are going to make their goals achievable in 2014, they have to work even harder than before.
Assistant Commissioner of Police, Nevis Division, Mr. Robert Liburd, also gave some remarks. He said he was delighted to be a part of such a significant occurrence. Mr. Liburd also thanked the community, for the assistance and sterling support that they gave over the past year. He told those in attendance, that the only way we can have a safer environment is if the community cooperates with the Police Force. He stated that we are living in a real world, and we must come to terms with reality. Mr. Liburd noted that there are persons out there, who are intolerant of the law and the police force, in collaboration with the members of the community, must do everything within their powers to combat that element.
He stated that for the past year, there was an increase in criminal activities and the officers of the Nevis Division are by no means happy with the escalation. He told the gathering, that it is the intention of the Police Force to review how and when they dropped the ball. Mr. Liburd also claimed that it was of paramount importance for them to remain proactive and to intensify their patrols. In closing, he asked the Officers to be passionate about the job and to stay committed to their tasks.
Commissioner of Police, Mr. C.G Walwyn, also gave some brief remarks. The top cop asked those who were promoted for the past year to stand and be recognized noting that their efforts should be commended. “I will like to commend you for the outstanding job you are doing for the vulnerable and especially the children”.
He told the Officers whatever training is required for them to be successful it will be afforded to them. Mr. Walwyn also pleaded with his colleagues to use discretionary measures when conducting their duties. He stated, “It’s not every time you have to distribute a ticket if someone is parked on the yellow line, at times they must be given a warning before receiving a ticket”.
The Commissioner also encouraged the Officers to be polite to the public. He indicated to them that if they are ‘hoggish’ and impolite, it gives a bad reflection on the entire Police Force. Mr. Walwyn also warned the Officers, about having second jobs and that it goes in contrary to the rules and regulations of the Police Force.
He elucidated to them the perils the Force can encounter as a result of them not being loyal to their duty as a Police Officer. He said if any Officer gets in trouble doing something illegal do not expect any mercy from the organization. In concluding his remarks, he indicated that he was proud of what the Force had achieved over the past year.
Past Police Officer and current Priest, Rev. Canon Dr. Alson Percival delivered the feature address. Dr. Percival told the Officers, that they have a responsibility to uphold the law and it should be done with impartiality and fairness. He also told them about the significance of their jobs, and if they are wasting time in the Police Department maybe they should make an exit. “This is not a place to be wasting time because the entire force will suffer as a result of your negligence and if you are not committed you should get out”.
Dr. Percival also told the lawmen, that they should always seek to protect the community. “We the people look to you for protection at all times therefore, that is what you are ought to do”. He indicated to them, that it is a responsibility they have to seek knowledge during their tenure in the Police Force so at the end of it all they would have known they made a difference in the society.
The eloquent vote of thanks was given by Sergeant Michael Hobson.