CONGRATULATIONS to the Royal St. Lucia Special Reserve and by extension the Royal St. Lucia Police Force on the celebration of their 61st anniversary.
Thanks, first of all, to the Almighty for giving all members of the Royal St. Lucia Special Reserve the health and strength to be able to celebrate this momentous occasion, their 61st anniversary!
On behalf of the Commissioner of Police, Mr. Severin Moncherry and Assistant Commissioner of Police, Frances Henry, in charge of the Special Reserve, I have taken this opportunity to congratulate all officers and members of the unit.
The theme for this year’s anniversary is the same as that of the police, viz, “Community policing begins with me.” As a member of the community, have to play a significant role in forming partnerships with the police in helping to solve the upsurge of crime in our community. Hence, each of us should be our brother’s keeper and the theme, “Community policing begins with me” is most appropriate.
At this point, it is worth looking at a brief history of the unit. The Royal St. Lucia Special Reserve Unit was established on September 5, 1956. Twenty-five persons were recruited in that year. The Chief of Police at the time was Mr. David Douglas Mc Gown, who left the responsibility to Major Fitzgerald York, who was also in charge of Her Majesty’s Prisons.
The uniforms worn by the recruits at that time were white long sleeve shirts, black tie, black arm bands and black pants.
By the year 1963, the strength of the unit grew to fifty officers, under the command of then Chief of Police, Mr. Frederick Cannon. Four officers were promoted: two to the rank of Sergeant and two to the rank of Corporal.
The unit grew from strength to strength and by the year 1972-73, its structure was as follows: Assistant Commissioner – Kenneth Ishmael; Superintendents – Oliver Smokey Charles and Marlon Granderson; Assistant Superintendents – Stanley Arnold, Reginald James Dudley, Kenneth Morgan, Martin Carasco; Inspectors – Gregory Mathurin, Carl Marshall, Russel Lake, Raymond Louisy, Earl Francis, Marcus Edward, Bushel, James Archibald and Lambert Samson. There were three Station Sergeants, six sergeants and eight corporals. There was a total membership of 139.
By the year 1995, Commissioner Hemingway had retired almost the entire High Command of the unit, leaving Assistant Superintendent of Police, Mr. Kenneth Morgan, in command. It was suggested that Morgan be promoted to the rank of superintendent and Inspector Earl Francis and Inspector Gerald Cyril to the rank of Assistant Superintendent. That never materialized.
By 1999, the unit was dormant. In 2007, after consulting with the then Commissioner Broughton, there was a little light in the tunnel. Sergeant Victor Dudley was promoted to inspector and Cpl.Hippolyte to sergeant. By 2010, however, under the command of the Commissioner Vernon Francois, the unit was back on its feet again. It developed a structure as follows: one Superintendent, two ASPs, three inspectors, four sergeants, four corporals and seventy-five constables.
Before concluding, however, it is worth knowing that the Special Reserve is a supplemental body of the Royal St. Lucia Police Force and falls directly under the purview of the Commissioner of Police. They are also entitled to the same powers and privileges as the regular police.
Finally, may I offer my sincerest congratulations to all the officers and members of the Special Reserve on the celebration of their 61st birthday. May the Good Lord Bless and keep them!
• Claudius William #SRP 48