Security Personnel Sworn-In as First Island Constables during Royal St. Christopher & Nevis Police Force Ceremony
BASSETERRE, St. Kitts, November 16,2011— Twenty-four (24) security personnel from Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine (RUSVM) (14 officers), Windsor University School of Medicine (9 officers) and the Urban Development Corporation (1 officer) were sworn-in as Island Constables during the Royal St. Christopher and Nevis Police Force Retirement Recognition and Island Constable Swearing-In Ceremony on Monday, November 14.
The Governor General of St. Christopher and Nevis, His Excellency Sir Cuthbert Sebastian, officially swore-in the Island Constables, as the ceremony marked the first time, in the history of St. Kitts and Nevis, that the Island Constable Act of 2009 had been implemented. The ceremony also celebrated the retirement of thirteen (13) officers who retired from the Police Force. “This is a special occasion, tonight we celebration and honor those individuals retiring from the force who have served our nation with integrity and impartiality and we commission new Island Constables who will have to impart that same integrity and impartiality into their service to our nation,” said Celvin G. Walwyn, Commissioner of Police, Royal St. Christopher and Nevis Police Force.
The Island Constables are a part of a group of private security officers who, according to the Island Constable Act of 2009, “shall have all the powers, privileges and shall be entitled to all the immunities conferred, by any law or the Police Act, upon any police constable.” In short, it will allow these officers the ability to detain and arrest suspects and to perform stop and search activities.
The role is not a replacement for a police officer but to serve as an extension to the Police Force. “The Island Constables will be embraced and their powers will be honored by the Police Force with fullest cooperation,” said Commissioner Walwyn. “We will work together to help make our island safer.” The Island Constables completed a three-week training program designed to provide the important policing skills needed for the officers to strengthen their role of effective patrol officers and to become St. Kitts and Nevis Island Constables.
Their primary function, has been and will continue to be, first responders to the respective constituents they serve—the universities and organizations. During the ceremony, His Excellency, the Governor General, officially swore-in the Constables, presented them with their instrument—official documentation indicating Island Constable status—and witnessed their signing into the official register. Commissioner Walwyn presented the officers with an arm patch that displays the “I” “C” designation surrounding the official police crest.
The arm patch must be displayed and the instrument documentation carried on the person when performing duty. Commissioner Walwyn thanked Austin Williams, Former Commissioner of Police, for his initiating the program. “I cannot take credit for beginning this initiative, it began years ago, and must thank Former Commissioner Williams, as it is his work which made these Island Constables a reality,” said Commissioner Walwyn.
Months ago, the partnership between the Universities, Windsor and RUSVM, the Ministry of National Security and the Royal St. Christopher and Nevis Police Force began, as the entities discussed ways to increase awareness and provide additional methods to enhance safety and security in the island. Following the ceremony, Former Commissioner Williams said, “it is very refreshing to know that even after my retirement the Force will continue to expand its initiatives in a manner that will benefit the general public. I know that in the near future, I will begin to see the fruits of my labor. I look forward to a renewed peace abounding in the Federation.
This a very proud moment for me.” Speaking to the constables, Mr. John Kroen, chief security officer for DeVry Inc.—DeVry Inc. is the parent company of Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine, said “the role of an Island Constable makes each of you an important part of the law enforcement team—with a focus on, gathering intelligence, improving communication, sharing relevant information, patrolling and assisting the police force in executing their duties.” Following the ceremony, the new Island Constables, retirees, other members of the Police Force and invited guests, attended a reception in honor of the evening’s events. “I am privileged to be a part of something so monumental. This initiative is a step in the right direction and I have been empowered to serve and protect my Federation.
As Director of Safety and Security at Windsor University I have always done what is necessary to help our campus community. But as an Island Constable, I now have the skills and the authority to really make a difference,” said Keithly Hicks, director of safety and security at Windsor University and new Island Constable, during a brief interview at the reception.
Vernon Taylor, RUSVM mobile patrol officer and new Island Constable agreed with Hicks, “All of our hard work has finally paid off. It has not been easy getting to this point. I believe that having to dedicate so much time to the completion of my courses and having to spend time away from my family was the most difficult part of my training. But ultimately I feel that it has been worth it.
These new responsibilities will help me to execute my duties more effectively and give me more ability in dealing with difficult situations. I know that I can now be a real asset to the police force.” Island Constables: ROSS UNIVERSITY: Rodney Francis, Angela Jarvis, Chester Marshall, Dennis Maynard, Hudon McDonald, Stanley Ottley, Lionel Paul, Cecil Richardson, Vernon Taylor, Desmond Tyson, Devon Warner, Kevin Williams, Michael Williams, Hakim Woodley; URBAN DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION: Patricia Celestine; WINDSOR UNIVERSITY: Oliver Archibald, Osborne Bute, James Davis, Germaine Douglas, Keithly Hicks, Ndukaku Nwosu, Leroy Pitt, Rodney Thomas, Edwin Warner
Retirees: Former Commissioner of Police Austin Williams, Superintendent Raymond Cotton, Inspector Keathlie Bradshaw, Inspector Elrethia Richardson, Sergeant Vernesia Williams, Corporal Lexington Bedford, Corporal James Davis, Corporal Errol Hobson, Constable Rodney Francis, Constable Chester Marshall, Constable Chelston Richardson, Constable Elroy Wattley, Special Constable Kenneth Willett.