Leonard keeps doubts about Justice Park

POSTED: 01/25/13 12:24 PM

St. Maarten – United People’s party MP Johan Leonard reiterated his concerns about plans for a Justice Park, especially about the project’s financing. In a statement issued yesterday, Leonard also referred to remarks made by the Progress Committee.

“The Progress Committee Sint Maarten has written several reports and has pointed out in one of them that they are not enthusiastic about the plans by Minister of Justice Roland Duncan has for a Justice Park and Maritime Police Unit. This Committee has the responsibility of monitoring the progress of the Plans of Approach and in this case is the Justice sector,” Leonard stated. “The Committee points out that both plans are not part of the Plan of Approach for the Sint Maarten Police Force, and if these two projects are initiated it could put further strain on the budget of the country if they are not well thought out and planned.”

The UP-MP is also weary of the project’s hefty $100 million price tag. “I am very hesitant about this in the sense of the financing of this plan that comprises of multi-facilities. We need to know more about the financing of these projects and what the debt will be and how much will be the total costs including interests and whatever other fees will be charged to the people of the country.”

Leonard also questions the maritime police project the Progress Committee criticized. It entails a boat, a skipper and four police officers who would patrol the inland waters.

“I would recommend to the minister of justice to use our existing Coast Guard that already has the resources, the boats that can carry out inland waterway inspections and patrols. I foresee a multidiscipline force of Coast Guard, police and customs doing the job for the short to mid-term. They are forces that fall under Sint Maarten and I am sure they can work together therefore keeping budgetary expenses down but at the same time protecting the people of this country and making sure that everybody who calls this country their home are adhering to the laws of the land.”


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