(SKNIS): One hundred and sixty-two officers, who have given more than 15 years of dedicated service to the Royal St. Christopher and Nevis Police Force (RSCNPF), the St. Kitts and Nevis Fire and Rescue Service (SKNFRS) and Her Majesty’s Prison (HMP), were honoured on Wednesday (July 19) at Government House.
The men and women received the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal, which was established in 2012 to commemorate 60 years of reign by Britain’s Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. It is presented to persons, who are currently serving, retired or resigned from the military, police, prison, and emergency forces, having served a minimum of 15 years on or before February 06, 2012.
Superintendent of Prisons, Junie Hodge, said people and performance matter and praised the 19 eligible individuals of HMP for the bravery they show every day, in dealing with some of society’s most anti-social personalities. In spite of the challenges of the job and the tendencies of some of the residents, Mr. Hodge reminded the audience that the incarcerated are still human beings and the officers are trained to be humble and respectful when dealing with them.
Thrity-two serving, retired or resigned fire officers received awards. Acting Fire Chief, Abdias Samuel, noted that his tenure in the SKNFRS has provided opportunities to travel within the Caribbean region and further afield. He said that he is proud of the dedication that the men and women in the security and emergency response fields display regularly as it compares favourably to their colleagues in other countries.
“The gift of service is one of the greatest gifts we can give ourselves,” he stated. “Through service, we discover and live out our values. Through service, we partake in our united commitment to create a union that signifies strength, dedication, and power.”
Mr. Samuel said that it was fitting that the sacrifices of the honorees were recognized at a ceremony of this stature, which was attended by Governor General, His Excellency Sir S. W. Tapley Seaton, Prime Minister, Dr. the Honourable Timothy Harris, and other dignitaries.
In his address, Commissioner of Police, Ian Queeley, noted that the challenge of gun crimes puts police officers at great risk. While addressing the 111 RSCNPF awardees, he singled out the serving members and said: “Each day, each of you wake up, [and] put on your uniform, ever conscious of these threats and come forth to fulfill your purpose. That purpose of ensuring citizen safety in our nation; that is dedication to duty. Each day you leave and are not certain if we will come back the same way and we applaud your effort.”
The commissioner encouraged the ranks to continue to carry out their duties with fairness and compassion and to remember the important values of integrity and pride when doing so.
The Government House ceremony marked the third occasion when a group of eligible members of the RSCNPF were presented with the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal. Presentation to members of the St. Kitts-Nevis Defence Force will be performed at a later date.