Ladies and Gentlemen, with protocol having been established, I am bidding everyone a pleasant Good Morning,
Welcome and thank you for joining us on this very special occasion as we officially welcome this graduating class of 2018 to the Police Force of Sint Maarten.
I’d like to begin by congratulating our cadets and thanking each of them for answering the call and taking up this tremendous, honorable, and noble path of entering law enforcement. I want to thank the academy, the instructors, the police force, Chief, management, and the families of the cadets for your support of these graduates through their journey.
Dear Cadets….. Today, we are proud of you. You have successfully journeyed through a process that prepared you to be the best you can be. Being a civil servant is honorable. But this specific function of being a police officer, a servant in law enforcement requires your commitment of putting your life on the line to protect the community of Sint Maarten. Not only are you being a representative of the law, but a leader in your community.
This is a challenging job, made no easier by the challenges of modern policing; you will be challenged with the fight between impartiality, comparison, and authority. However, with authority comes great responsibility. It is the job of every officer, as you carry out the mission of the ministry of justice, for the safety and security of your community and your country.
As we celebrate you and your achievement, I’d like to acknowledge Team Chief and Project Leader for Education in the Dutch Caribbean Region, Mr. Rob Appelhof. Thank you for welcoming me to National Police Academy in the Netherlands and for meeting with me this past week, to further cement our positive working relationship towards ensuring that more persons from Sint Maarten will be able to join the Police Academy and become police officers for Sint Maarten. We share in the vision of ensuring that there is an institution here on Sint Maarten that would fully and appropriately accommodate the development of not just strong, knowledgeable and skillful police officers but also an institution that grants all agencies with the Ministry of Justice a stable and structured institution with all officers can attend and gain their certification in a formal and structured manner. That is my goal and I’m working steadfast towards it.
As such, I remind each of you to never become complacent. Aspire to inspire others to follow in your footsteps and join law enforcement. As Minister of Justice, I am fully committed to developing this ministry to be an education based ministry. Where from Officers to inmates are all afforded opportunities for academic development, professional advancement and positive growth.
I believe in you, and I believe you will make this country a better and safer place. You will be a model example for the members of your community. I know that I can depend on you; Sint Maarten knows that we can depend on you, and you will make us proud, as you will continue to do your best and demonstrate integrity in all you do.
! Be safe out there, and God bless you all! Thank You.