Basseterre, St. Kitts, (CUOPM) — The planned St. Kitts-based Multi-Purpose Training Center for the Security Forces will have benefits that will redound across the length and breadth of St. Kitts and Nevis and the Caribbean.
So said Prime Minister and Minister responsible for the Police and the Defence Force, the Right Hon. Dr. Denzil L. Douglas.
Speaking at the ground breaking ceremony for the Multi-Purpose Security Training Center at Lime Kiln, the Prime Minister noted the decision of his governing St. Kitts-Nevis Labour Party in 2005 that the interests of the Nation would be best served by replacing the 300-year-old sugar industry with a truly diversified economy.
“We committed ourselves to advancing, not only the economic dimensions of national development, but to advancing the social dimensions of national development as well. And as we made clear at that time, we saw an enlightened, professional law enforcement apparatus as being key to the social flowering and stability of our proud and progressive state,” said Prime Minister Douglas.
Dr. Douglas noted also that in pursuit of the post-sugar ideal, a National Adaptation Strategy was developed by his government which is pivotal which were the modernisation and the transformation of the country’s national security environment.
He said he was pleased to enter into an agreement with the European Union that made safety and security as the focal sector for support under the 10th European Development Fund.
“The programming of funds commenced as early as 2006, and I was very pleased to be able to sign, alongside Ambassador Valeriano Diaz of the European Union, the Country Strategy Paper for the10th European Development Fund back in 2008. And so, on behalf of the Government and people of St. Kitts & Nevis, I wish to state, once again, how grateful we are for the solid and important support that we have received from the European Union throughout the post-sugar era. And this makes the presence of His Excellency Ambassador Mikael Barford today of very special importance,” said Prime Minister Douglas..
He said that that the National Adaptation Strategy made clear the fact that the development and modernisation of the security services – including the upgrade of critical infrastructure – were leading priorities of his government, and so this multi-purpose training center that will get underway today is a key component of that particular emphasis.
“The center that will emerge on this site will be key to the training and continued professionalisation of our nation’s law enforcement personnel, with inter-generational benefits to our Nation. Indeed, it will serve as a focal point for law enforcement training throughout the entire region, thereby enabling St. Kitts and Nevis to make yet again a meaningful and substantive contribution to the safety and stability of the region as a whole,” said Prime Minister Douglas, adding that the Federation has “long been active participants in regional and international security initiatives and this center will facilitate this even further.”
He said that concomitant with the erection of physical structures, will be ongoing skills enhancement for law enforcement personnel throughout the Federation.
“There will be ongoing upgrading of the curriculum at the police training school. Improved recruitment practices, enhanced staffing policies, and improved working conditions will continue in order to attract high performing graduates to law enforcement. In addition to the training that will be provided here, we will continue to avail middle and senior management with training opportunities in such areas as forensic sciences, public administration, management, and criminology at regional and international training institutions,” said Prime Minister Douglas, who added that the Ministry will continue to place special emphasis on the development, implementation, the monitoring and evaluation of existing security-related policies that are in place and that will continue, to put in place.
The Prime Minister noted that the construction of the center is but one point – an important and pivotal point, but still one point – in an ongoing continuum of rehabilitating and upgrading the physical plant on which this Federation’s law enforcement depends, the broader continuum including the refurbishment of police stations; the police training school, and the Nation’s coastguard facilities.
Stating that St. Kitts and Nevis is a part of a globalised law enforcement reality, Dr. Douglas pointed to the upgrading of the Enforcement Division within the Customs Department to emphasize government’s commitment to upgrade all facets of law enforcement.
“We in St. Kitts and Nevis are remaining alert to the best specific practices and applied law enforcement technologies all around the world. And we shall identify and adapt those policies that best meet our own needs here in St. Kitts and Nevis. We shall continue to form important allegiances and alliances, as we have done with the European Union,” said Dr. Douglas.
He pledged his commitment to ensure that law enforcement in St. Kitts and Nevis continues to be a pivotal component of his Government’s ensuring the ongoing advancement, the stability, and progress of this country that means so much to all.
Dr. Douglas used the opportunity to express thanks to the outstanding public servants in St. Kitts-Nevis for their professionalism and commitment.
“I want to thank of course the law enforcement leadership and personnel who do so much to ensure the safety and stability of our state. I believe that more than ever before, there might be many anxious people in this country but I say to them and to us all, the government has full confidence in the leadership of our Police Force. We have full confidence in the support that has been provided by our partners in our national development and we have full confidence in those who will continue to pursue the law, those who will be trained here and those who will be prepared to take on yet another task of responsibility in the safety and security of our Federation,” the Prime Minister said.