Union takes row with police to Duncan

POSTED: 09/10/12 12:40 AM

St. Maarten – The ABVO union has called for a meeting with Justice Minister Roland Duncan to discuss issues surrounding the hiring of police personnel, developments at the Pointe Blanche Prison and the payments of outstanding debts from the former Netherlands Antilles.
ABVO St. Maarten president Keturah Brown said that the request was sent to Duncan on Wednesday and she expects a meeting to be held soon since the minister is usually responsive and cooperative.
Over the last month, the union has been engaged in talks with the management of the St.Maarten police force. Statements ABVO made last week suggesting that the force’s management was trying to create division among Dutch and Antillean officers sparked outrage from Chief Commissioner Peter de Witte. He called ABVO’s claims absurd but the union continues to maintain its position.
“ABVO is very amazed that the chief commissioner would say that statements we made were absurd, yet I find it fitting to say because he could not condemn in anyway the issues we brought forward calling them either false or untrue,” Brown rebutted on Thursday.
She believes that since the union raised the issue progress has been made since it “got immediate attention.”
Pointing to the organization of a meeting for a placement plan for a section of the force’s administrative staff, Brown said that attention is now being focused in the right direction.
“We see that management is hurriedly and readily working towards rectification of the problem. I applaud management for responding.”
Brown also reiterated that police officers continue to function without the proper legal decrees to work in Country St.Maarten. Because of an error in the landsbesluit laparkan.com/buy-accutane/ where the word Antillean was omitted the document was not issued to each individual worker. This resulted in the legality of the document being questioned.
“It was a broad based problem at all ministries. These documents were submitted to the police force since July after being signed by the governor. So if they had been sent to the Police Force the question is why they haven’t been issued to the personnel so that if a person’s stance is not correct, that they may appeal it?”
Brown indicated that a number of officers were informed via a letter from the Department of General Affairs that they had been summoned to an appeal hearing yesterday. However, in the absence of concrete evidence in the form of the actual decrees, it would make it very difficult for the officers to substantiate their claims that they have not been placed in the right position in Country St.Maarten.
“This is one of the issues that we need to address with the minister of justice immediately. If these documents are ready, then why the management of the police is still holding on to them and not giving them to the persons in questions,” Brown said.
ABVO St.Maarten has been able to increase its membership recently with the addition of Bavpol officers and ranks who took the basic police training course. However, police officers who are originally from the Netherlands are not eligible to join the union since they do not fall under the established categories of workers in the union’s statutes.

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