Police honor Justice Minister RichardsonPOSTED: 07/21/15 7:12 PM
Justice Minister Richardson receives a badge of honor from Commissioner Carl John. Photo Today / Leo Brown
International Justice Day commemorated
St. Maarten – The uniformed services celebrated International Justice Day yesterday afternoon at the Festival Village. Eighteen men and women who dedicated more than 40 years to the justice system were honored.
The VKS stood out during the marching showcase with creative chants and in synch footwork, earning applause from the attendees. The police, House of Detention and the Customs also took part in the event.
Acting Chief of Police Carl John said that St. Maarten is lucky that there is no discrimination against each other in the police. He also mentioned the open borders between French side and the Dutch side. “Because we know the hard work our minister of justice goes through on a daily basis, we have decided to honor him with a badge of the police force. This will give him the strength to continue doing his work.”
Prime Minister Marcel Gumbs says there is this toxic relationship between the partners in the Kingdom and St. Maarten and it needs to be improved. “We need cooperation for the justice system to grow and to have all uniformed services under one roof,” Gumbs said.
Acting Governor Reynoldt Groeneveld called for the establishment of a law faculty in collaboration with the University of St. Martin. “We need to establish this law degree program for our men and women who want to further their education in the justice chain and earn a law degree.” The acting governor says this program will make the staff of the justice system better equipped to deal with the country’s challenging laws.
“It is easy to sit from far and say that we are not doing our jobs but they need to remember that we started this from scratch,” Minister of Justice Dennis Richardson said. “It is not perfect but we are working on it every day.” The minister mentioned the good relationship between all departments and wished for continued strength and wisdom for the entire ministry. Special awards were given to officers who show promise at their respective departments. The theme for this year’s commemoration is “Ensuring a Just, Equal and Fair Society.”
During a week of festivities, the police organized a target shooting competition. Last year’s defending champions the police force did not place in the top three this year. Coming in at third place was the Immigration Department, second place went to the House of Detention and the first place was for the Customs Department. The minister handed out trophies and thanked the officers for their continued dedication.