On Monday, September 27th, 2021, Minister Richardson was received by the Director of the National Forensic Institute (hereafter NFI), Mr. Marc Elsensohn, and the senior advisor and account manager for the Caribbean Ms. Judy van Overveld.
The National Forensic Institute is one of the world’s leading accredited forensic laboratories and one of its kind in the Netherlands. From its state-of-the-art premises and more than 30 areas of forensic disciplines, the NFI renders products and services to a wide range of national and international clients. One being, The Ministry of Justice Sint Maarten where the NFI contributes to investigations in collaboration with the Police Force of Sint Maarten and the Public Prosecutor’s Office.
During the visit Minister Richardson and her delegation received a short presentation on NFI’s extensive operations whereby the processes and agreements between the NFI and the Ministry of Justice Sint Maarten were explained and described.
The presentation was followed by a tour of the front desk where the exhibits are received via a secured container, the DNA department, ballistics lab or shooting range and lastly the data analysis department.
Minister Richardson and her delegation were privileged to witness a forensic serologist positively confirm traces on an exhibit that was used during a crime.
The pursuit to establish Sint Maarten’s own Justice learning and training institution remains a high priority item for Minister Richardson. The institute will be outfitted with a shooting range, gymnasium, classrooms, administrative offices and pre-forensic facility. Considering the successful working relationship maintained between the NFI and Sint Maarten, Minister Richardson aims to ensure that the institute and its pre-forensic unit specifically are in sync with the NFI. This then means that the intended facility must have levels of sophistication to optimize operations, specializing in the collection of data, protection and transport of same to the NFI.
Ms. van Overveld spoke about the many years that the NFI has been in service to Sint Maarten and further applauded KPSM for the great work that they have carried out over the years. Ms. van Overveld further expressed that she appreciates the professionalism of the Police Force of Sint Maarten as they have continued to received exhibits sent to the NFI from Sint Maarten in good quality.
As with all other visits, Minister Richardson inquired about opportunities for growth, development and advancement for Sint Maarten. As such, at the NFI, Minister Richardson seized an opportunity to inquired if there any training courses were available. The NFI confirmed that they offer courses for advancement in the field and have in the past provided courses and training in the Dutch Caribbean. The opportunity is therefore available for courses to be scheduled for staff members to be a part of in the future and thus, Minister will see to it that coordination is arranged.