Newly Trained Police, Bordelais Officers Told: ‘You Are Not Above The Law’

By Kingsley Emmanuel

Thirty-nine officers of the Royal St. Lucia Police Force (RSLPF) and the Bordelais Correctional Facility have completed a rigorous six-week basic para-military training course, for which they were highly commended by the Acting Deputy Commissioner of Police SeverinMoncherry and Minister of Home Affairs and National Security, Victor Phillip La Corbiniere.

Some of the participants.
Some of the participants.

Moncherry and La Corbiniere were at the time addressing the closing ceremony of the course which was held at the Special Service Unit (SSU) base, in Vieux-Fort, last Friday.

The officers, who described the exercise as very challenging received instructions in first aid, weapon use, map reading, jungle tactics, field craft, internal security and human rights and also did range exercises and physical training. The sessions which were held in Vieux Fort were conducted by members of the Royal St. Lucia Police Force.

In his remarks at the ceremony, Moncherry said the training was critical, as the Royal St. Lucia Police Force sought to restore confidence not only locally but internationally.

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He added: “ Restructuring must take place within the organization and one key aspect of this restructuring will definitely be redeployment of personnel. Training is a key component of development and ensuring that personnel are properly equipped with the requisite skills and competencies to achieve their goals and objectives, is a priority of the Royal St. Lucia Police Force.”

He urged the participants to share their knowledge with their colleagues, adding that it will make a difference in restoring confidence in the Force.

According to Moncherry, national security required well trained officers, especially in light of the ever changing security environment. “We live in a global village and our actions or inactions can have implications not only for national security issues in our region, but in the international arena,” he said.

“Every citizen expects the highest level of professionalism and service from us, and as such, we cannot be complacent in discharging our duties and responsibilities…Go out there confidently with your heads held high and be of good courage,” he said.

He reminded them that their role was not just as law enforcement officers, but also as ambassadors to their country.

Yannil Sam gets an award for being the best student.
Yannil Sam gets an award for being the best student.

Moncherry urged the officers to respect the rights of perpetrators as they (officers) sought to protect the rights of citizens who fall victim to crime.

“Discharge your duties always knowing that you are accountable for your actions on every occasion. You must always remember that you are not above the law,” he warned the officers.

La Corbiniere, in his remarks, told the officers that the training they had received had provided them with leadership skills, and should enable them to be proactive in support to the Force.

“The training you have received will contribute to your leadership skills and not just for the specific training you have received in specific areas. It will prepare you to be the future leaders of the Force. The Special Service unit is not just about national security…,” he said.

According to the Minister, in situations of crisis people expect them (officers) to get them out of the crisis situation through leadership.

“You need to rise above the occasion. You need to show that your leadership will take you out of the crisis,” he said.

The Minister said that people will not respect police officers simply because they have a gun, but because they represent the Royal St. Lucia Police Force.

He commended the instructors for a job well done.

Officers who performed exceedingly well in the various aspects of the training were awarded at the ceremony.

Yannil Sam, who won the award for the Best Student in the training, told THE VOICE that he was elated to be rewarded for his performance.

“I got my motivation from within….and put God first,” Sam, whose ambition is to become a forensic scientist said.

He said the most challenging aspect of the training was the jungle tactics which required much discipline and endurance.

“The training was very challenging but I enjoyed it. I gained a vast amount of knowledge from it which will make me a better police officer,” said Sam, who has been in the force for the past six years.

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