Minister Promises To Deal With It As Speedily as Possible.
POLICE officers who have been fingered in a report by a team from the CARICOM Implementation Agency for Crime and Security (IMPACS) investigating fatal shooting incidents six years ago will soon know their fate.
The entire police force has been asked to assist in bringing closure to the matter which has been hanging over its head for several months.
Home Affairs Minister, Hermangild Francis made the call for assistance and gave the named police officers hope at Sunday’s annual Police Awards Ceremony at the Golden Palm Conference Room at Rodney Bay, Gros Islet.
“I am sure that everybody knows about IMPACS. IMPACS will not go away until we deal with it and I intend to, with the assistance of the police and the Director of Public Prosecution as speedily as possible. The lives of the police officers involved need to go on,” Francis said.
Those police officers, he said, need to know what is going to happen with respect to the next step in that matter and that they need to know very quickly.
“I can assure them that we will be looking into that situation,” Minister Francis said.
He, perhaps unwittingly, injected a solemn thought into the proceedings when he said that “there will be difficult times” and that as a Minister there will be times when he will be taking some very serious decisions, which come with his job.
Giving no clue as to what he may have been alluding to, he added that “there are a lot of things in the air and that persons will have to deal with them.”
He called on police officers to learn from their mistakes and not let criticisms hamper them in performing their duties in a professional manner.
“Allow the criticism to come, learn from it. But it is what we do after we have made that mistake that will count,” Minister Francis said, echoing Police Commissioner, Severin Moncherry who lauded the efforts of his men throughout the first 11 months of this year.
The Commissioner encouraged his officers to perform their duties without fear or favour and to serve their country with the highest degree of integrity and professionalism.
“Display pride and dignity and at all times uphold the positive image of the Royal St. Lucia Police Force. Always respect the fundamental rights and freedoms of the people you serve. Let justice, truth and charity be your ideals,” Moncherry told the conference room filled with police officers.
He promised to do all within his power as Commissioner to make the police force a truly professional service focusing on customer satisfaction.
Moncherry also promised to revamp the annual police awards event saying that come next year he will review the nomination and selection processes.
“It is my intention to have every station, unit and department recognized and award officers who have excelled on a monthly basis. Therefore our nominees for annual awards will be chosen from the persons awarded monthly by the stations, units and departments,” he said.
At that ceremony, a number of police officers were recognized for outstanding work from the ranks of the Special Reserves all the way up to that of Inspector. Others were singled out for acts of gallantry and valour and going beyond the call of duty.
More on the Police Awards in our Thursday issue.