(SKNIS): Thirty-two members of the Royal St. Christopher and Nevis Police Force were saluted on Thursday (November 03) for 18 years of uninterrupted service with good conduct as clebrations for Police Week 2016 climaxed.
Governor General, His Excellency Sir S. W. Tapley Seaton, pinned the medals to the chest of men and women who were recognized at the Long Service and Good Conduct Medal Awards and Ceremony held at the Ocean Terrace Inn.
Commissioner of Police, Ian Queeley, said recognizing the outstanding effort of the rank and file was a point of emphasis for him when he was promoted to the position as head of the police force in February 2016. It is also outlined in the Police Service Improvement Plan. Several initiatives have been held including two Commissioner’s Luncheon – where the top officers from each unit have lunch with the Police High Command. They took place in April and July this year. A long service award was also held in May 2016.
Commissioner Queeley said the officers recognized were among the finest in law enforcement anywhere in the world. He added that the length of service is commendable given the rigours and hazards faced by police on a regular basis.
“Eighteen years of giving tirelessly to this Federation. Eighteen years of answering a nation’s call for maintaining security and citizen safety. Eighteen years of being steadfast to their commitment, loyal and being good followers and leaders, and eighteen years of making a difference, each and every day so that our citizens can enjoy a safe federation,” he emphasized.
Acting Minister of National Security, Honourable Ian Patches Liburd, congratulated the awardees and reminded the general force that “every member of a community deserve to be served equally regardless of class, colour, creed, gender or political persuasion. Essentially you must serve and protect all.”
He also urged the citizenry and political leaders to “do everything within their power” to support the security forces. Minister Liburd said the government has expended a substantial amount to upgrade the national security infrastructure since 2015. Initiatives include contracting experts from the United Kingdom-based Bramshill Police Advisors; enhancing the police telecommunications system with a Motorola digital system; removing all import duties and charges for surveillance equipment for households and business from April 21 to December 31, 2016; expanding the CCTV system; establishing a Criminal Justice Strategic Board; increasing training opportunities and risk pay for officers; acquiring state-of-the-art forensic equipment; and expanding the police’s K-9 Unit.
“The Team Unity Administration stands fully in support of you as you endeavour to restore the safety and security of our country,” Minister Liburd stated. “From this goal, there can be no retreat.”
Additional support for the security forces is expected to be outlined in the 2017 Budget Address, traditionally delivered in December by the Minister of Finance. During the Budget Estimates Meeting in October, Deputy Financial Secretary, Calvin Edwards, said the government is not sparing any resources in giving the necessary tools to law enforcement to effectively fight crime.
The police officers who received medals for Long Service and Good Conduct were Inspectors Conrad Bertie, James Sutton, Carla Wallace, Lanston Jeffers and Everette Mitchum. Recognized in the Sergeant ranks were Joel Caines, and Stuart Henry. The awarded Constables were Valentine Kelly, Lestin Wiltshire, Marva Huggins, Lewis Richardson, Esther Norford, Kevin Douglas, Ivas Hodge, Owen Browne, McKella Browne, Wayne Cranston, Leroy Fahie, Avril Wilkin, Kervis Hutchinson, Cohan Liburd, Fitzroy Payne, Greg Glasgow, and Kevin Powell. Special Constable Charles Cornelius, Yasmine Belle and Sylvester Hutton were also awarded. Among the retired Constable ranks were Ingle Liburd, Elson Michael, and Glenroy Stanley. Constable Leslie Williams (deceased) received the award posthumously.