Police sub-station opens in Maho

POSTED: 11/24/14 7:55 PM

MAHO—The Maho area is one of the hottest spots on the island with a number of tourist who frequent the area along with local residents. This is what makes it appropriate to open the fourth police sub-station– in the four years of St. Maarten obtaining the status of country– in that area, said Minister of Justice Dennis Richardson.

He expressed his gratitude to the CEO of Sonesta Maho Beach Resort Saro Spadaro for accommodating the police to have their substation at the La Terrasse. Richardson said that although there were many years that the management of the resort had asked for the sub-station to be placed in the area, it is “because of some mysterious reason which is not the fault of the Ministry of Justice, that it did not happen,” said Richardson.

He noted that is not only Saro Spadaro he had to thank but also the Dutch financing organization USONA for the financial injection which made it possible for the police to have a modern sub-station. He noted that the Dutch financing firm is nearing the end of its financing possibilities for St. Maarten and as a result expressed his sincere gratitude to the local director of USONA Angela Dekker for helping St. Maarten develop in the past. He commended her for ensuring that St. Maarten used all the financing possibilities that were there since there is only one week left for the island to use allocated funds t made available from USONA.

The justice minister congratulated the police force and especially the Korps Chef and the officers who will be working to ensure that law and order is maintained in that area. He explained that because the area attracts a number of tourists along with the residents, with the sub-station in the vicinity, the reaction time of the police will be much faster in the event of a crime being committed.

According to Richardson, the contributions that are being made by the American School of Medicine, which is situated in the Cupecoy district, is significant and he thanked them for their contributions to the island and promised that the police will do their part in the security of the students who attend the university.

USONA representative Angela Dekker in her remarks confirmed that the funding by the Dutch firm is nearing its end and mentioned that although there were much negative things said about St. Maarten in the past weeks, there are much more positive things which are not mentioned. She noted that St. Maarten did much better than Curacao with the Dutch development fund and indicated that the funds that were spent on St. Maarten was spent on the right projects, such as justice, education and government” which is something to be proud about.”

Dekker added that even though the projects for the Justice Ministry had its challenges it went very well. “The energy in the justice ministry with all the training that was done was exceptional,” she said. She explained that some 1.7 million guilders was used on training alone, on the sub-station 635,000 guilders and for the renovation of the Police Station in Philipsburg 1.7 million guilders which is still to be spent before the end of the year.

The renovation of the prison in Pointe Blanche will cost some 6,700,000 guilders. Dekker noted that all these projects were carried out in just 18 months and she is proud that they were able to get them all done. “We need to mention more of the positive things on St. Maarten. Sometimes we question what is wrong with us.  We are young and only a country for four years and we are still growing, “she said.

Representing the management of Sonesta Maho Resort and Casino was General Manager of Royal Islander Deborah Canales who said that the management of the resort is honored to assist the Police Force which they deem as “very important” since St. Maarten is a tourist destination. She welcomed the police to the Maho village adding her hopes for a “tight” relationship, since she feels that the police could only enhance the feeling of safety to the residents and the visitors in the area.

Canales expressed her gratitude to the government and particularly the police force which she credited with keeping people safe during the night.

“We are proud to be police officers on St. Maarten,” said Commissioner of Police Carl John in his opening remarks. He said he and his officers are proud to be part of the community and added that the forth sub-station opening at the Maho area shows progress: moving forward and working together is success. He said that the police force does not want to do it alone and have decided to provide the community with an officer that they can speak to when there are problems.

He explained that the police force is so organized that the CPO gets the support from all the other officers on the street.  According to the police top brass, even though the group of officers may look small they are able to “do big things in the community.”

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