Police force celebrates first anniversary

POSTED: 10/12/11 4:42 PM

St. Maarten – The police force celebrated its first anniversary since St. Maarten became a country in 2010 with a ceremony in front of the police station in Philipsburg. A group of 22 new police recruits took the oath in front of Justice Minister Roland Duncan and Chief Commissioner Peter de Witte. Three officers received a certificate of appreciation for their years of service.
The police choir celebrated its tenth anniversary and gave a performance on the steps of the police station. Chief Commissioner De Witte said that in its first year as an independent organization the police force has had great challenges to meet. “Every day the force works hard to meet those challenges,” he said. “We are here to serve and protect the people of St. Maarten. We want to be a 5-star police organization and we want to give the best service in the region.”
De Witte said that the rise in serious crime is unacceptable. “Security is the right of every citizen.”
The chief commissioner said that the force will receive twenty police officers from the Netherlands for a period of three years, and that there are new recruits about to be sworn in. “We still have limited manpower, and I am grateful for the loyalty of our officers. They are showing a passion for their work, they are making more overtime than can be expected from them and they even give up days off to continue their work on ongoing investigations.”
De Witte said that the reinforcements will result in the visibility of more blue on the streets. However, he said, “The police force cannot do it alone. We need you all.”
He furthermore announced that St. Maarten will organize the Police Kingdom Games next year.
Justice Minister Duncan said, ahead of the swearing in ceremony of the 22 new recruits, that there is a lot going on with the youth on the island. “And here you see some of them standing right behind me. I am proud of St. Maarten’s youth. These are young recruits that are in different stages of their training. They are here to protect us.”

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