Fifty Nine new officers for the Royal Saint Lucia Police Force
Contact: Julita Peter
Wednesday, August 10, 2005 – Fifty nine recruits comprising 47 males and 12 females have been added to the ranks of the Royal St. Lucia Police Force. The officers came to the end of nine months of an intensive training culminating with the 25th graduation exercise last Friday on the grounds of the Police Training School. The addition of the new batch of officers brings the total population of the force to nine hundred and forty one.
The graduation ceremony was attended by Prime Minister Hon. Dr. Kenny Anthony and members of his Cabinet. The Home Affairs and Internal Security Minister Senator Honourable Calixte George said he believed the institution had turned out a batch of well recruited junior officers, with the required technical and educational proficiency and professionalism. “Both the PM and myself felt that it was necessary to do a very intensive series of courses because the nature of policing these days is different from what we knew it to be. The policeman has to be a jack of all trade. He is not only involved with merely police work but with counselling, providing advice etcetera, to the communities,” he said.
Senator George said the new batch of police officers put an added burden on the public purse but the Internal Security Minister believes that the public is getting value for money. The quality of officers coming out of ‘Course 25’ Senator George says is of a high standard. He however warned the new officers that this was not the time for complacency but that the work had just begun.
During Friday’s graduation exercise Prime Minister Hon. Dr. Kenny Anthony announced that in honour of the grandaunts of ‘Course 25’ and the work of the institution over the years, the police training school will now be called the Royal St. Lucia Police Academy. While Dr. Anthony was full of praise for the new recruits he took the opportunity to warn them of the challenges of policing.
“The time has come, he said, when you have to make a choice between betraying your fellow officers or upholding the law to which you have sworn allegiance. The time will also come when some will seek to compromise your loyalty to the state, for narrow partisan purposes. What will the choice be when that moment comes? The choice ought to be clear. Your duty is to the constitution of the state, the constitution of St. Lucia and the laws which that constitution authorises.”
The Baton of Honour was awarded to Woman Police Constable Stephanie Henry who implored her fellow junior officers to execute their vested duties with pride and dedication. She reminded them that, “from this day forth we will no longer be protected by the parameters of this institution. We will now be exposed to the reality of the real world.”
A further 60 officers will be recruited at the Royal St. Lucia Police Academy in the coming months.
In light of the growing number of street crimes the Prime Minister has applauded the initiative by the police force to review and rationalize the number of officers in its clerical and managerial areas. This he said he supported completely a decision of the hierarchy of the force to assign more officers to field duties.
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