POND ISLAND – In line with transparency, Minister of Justice Cornelius de Weever gave an update with respect to an overview he gave in the House of Parliament on May 8 during the national budget debate when responding to questions from a Member of Parliament about the status of the current vehicle fleet of the Sint Maarten Police Force (KPSM).
Minister De Weever received an update on May 11 with respect to the current status of the fleet of vehicles at the disposal of law enforcement.
“On behalf of the people, Government and in particular the Ministry of Justice of Sint Maarten, I would like to reiterate how thankful we are to the Dutch Government, the Dutch Ministry of Justice and Security, and the Dutch National Police Force, for all the assistance and resources that they have contributed and rendered to Sint Maarten, and continue to do so since the passing of Hurricanes Irma and Maria.
“This form of assistance once again shows the strong bonds within the Kingdom of the Netherlands, and at the same time it shows how the relations and structural forms of cooperation can be used to assists each other in times of national disaster, and the hurricanes of September 2017 were a clear example of the aforementioned at work,” Minister of Justice Cornelius de Weever said on Sunday.
At the beginning of October 2017, the Sint Maarten Police Force received 20 police vehicles from the Dutch National Police Force that were donated to the Ministry of Justice of Sint Maarten. These vehicles arrived onboard the Zr. HM Karel Doorman.
Hurricanes Irma and Maria severely damaged 80 per cent of the police vehicle fleet. In order to increase police visibility and to be able to respond to emergencies and requests for police assistance, the Chief of Police and Management Team prepared a request for assistance which included vehicles.
The Dutch National Police Force made available 20 police vehicles which comprised of 14 Tourans, four vans, one mobile command center and one truck/mobile command unit. Upon arrival of the aforementioned, the vehicles were immediately put to use as soon as they were registered and all official documents were in order.
The truck and small command unit were returned to the Netherlands during the second trip of the Zr. HM Karel Doorman to the country at the end of October.
Due to the road conditions especially within districts, several patrol vehicles sustained damage; climbing of hills at high speed in response to emergency calls; the use of a different type of fuel; different climate conditions; a number of the vehicles had mechanical issues.
At the moment, eight of the 14 Tourans patrol vehicles are operations, and an additional three will be back on the streets of Sint Maarten. The aforementioned three will be restored by using parts from the other three that suffered mechanical challenges.
Road conditions in the immediate aftermath of the passing of Hurricanes Irma and Maria took a toll on vehicles in general.
KPSM use the Tourans on a daily basis to carry out their duties to protect and serve the Sint Maarten community and are therefore very thankful to the Dutch National Police for their assistance.