St. Maarten Police force welcomes fourteen new recruits

POSTED: 07/5/11 12:53 PM

BBW-complex to become training center

St. Maarten – Justice Minister Roland Duncan and Commissioner Carl John welcomed a group of fourteen new police recruits during a brief meeting at the Minister’s office yesterday morning.

The fourteen recruits, all young women and men from St. Maarten are part of a recruitment drive that must bring the police force 72 extra officers this year. Earlier, 15 recruits went into training.

“We are recruiting for the police, for customs and for the prison,” Minister Duncan said. “I welcome these young people. Their success is the success of St. Maarten. There are a lot a of career opportunities at the moment. They will provide safety for citizens, but they will also at times be risking their life for their country. Thank you for stepping up to the plate, for helping to make country St. Maarten a success.”

The Minister said that on the 25th of this month another 50 to 60 recruits for the different justice departments will come in. “There is also going to be another recruitment drive in October. The opportunity to join is still there. At the same time we are also looking for experienced police officers to join our force.”

Commissioner John said that the requirements to become a police officer are, “Dutch nationality, age between 17.5 and 29, and an exemplary lifestyle; so no criminal record.”

Duncan said that the old BBW-complex in Sucker Garden is to become the police training center with a shooting range and a gym.

Reacting to a question from this newspaper about reports that policemen in the Netherlands are out of shape, John said that next year the force will introduce an annual fitness test and a shooting test. “If you don’t pass the test you will not be allowed to go on the streets,” he said.

Minister Duncan added that the training center will play a role in this. “Somebody donated a large part of a gym for this purpose. Officers will get training with job-simulations for situations like fire and terrorist activities. Our officers need to be fit, not only physically, but also mentally.”

Duncan said that the owner of the BBW-complex allowed the Justice Ministry to use the facility already, even though no contracts have been signed. “That shows that some people trust our government,” he quipped.


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