Through this medium I, Mr. Rogerrel Mauricia, President of the NAPB, wish to submit my rebuttal on the last article placed in the December 9th issue of the Daily Herald (page 9) and a statement made during the Justice Committee by Hon Minister Of Justice.
I believe there is some clarification necessary especially to and for the members.
I wish to address my members and let them know that I will defend them 100%. I also agree with their grievances and the way they choose to get clarity on their issues. Many took the article in a wrong way, and I understand them. And I am here to say that I fully stand behind my members. Little the public/community knows that was a 2nd letter, after the first letter that was leak out. That 2nd letter is what appears in the Dailey Herald (front page) as an article. The way how it reached is not important at this moment. My reaction was based on the first letter that appears in another newspaper. Fact is, that clearly was a misunderstanding on my behalf.
The situation has been going on for far too long and I can relate to their frustrations. It is not easy being a Police Officer and worse now that they we are continuously being overseen and seemingly somewhat punished.
On December 14th 2020, the Hon. Minister of Justice made statements that concern US very much. This statement was about KPSM (police officers) spend a great amount of money for food, during the lock down.
First of all:
1: A police officer or a member of the Police Force Sint Maarten, cannot walk into a restaurant a struck no deal without this being approved by KPSM management. KPSM management on their turn had to get to green light from the Justice Financial Controller to order meals. Knowing our management team in this type of situations, they always document their findings to seek approval. If they don’t received approval, it will communicate to the workers. (e.x. Carnival, Regatta and other events that was not planned according to our event calendar)
2: The police officers did not eat those meals by themselves. We had help of Kmar personnel, Marines, Vks Sint Maarten, Costums, that were assisting the Police Force Of Sint Maarten. You can use the terminology Justice workers if you feel it fit. Because they are Justice Workers. All of them ate, but today police is getting the blame for the bill.
3: During the lockdown for Covid 19, the Dutch provide our members with protective equipment, because my Government could not provide for them.
4: We the police officers are very much disgust, the way our leaders and the community is looking at US like we are thieves. We have been blame about issue with stolen cars. Yet no proof that police officers are involved in this issue, even thou an investigation were done and publish by the Attorney General.
5: Police officers are being blame about high amount of overtime. They did not make the shortage in the Force. In fact, they are determent to fill that gap, until their other colleagues finish their studies. During this Justice Committee meeting some MP’s did asked some value questions whereby in this article you can seek some answers.
Stop with the blaming game now once and for all. Come out clean and tell the members and their unions what is really the problem with their issues. It is not money at this time. You do not them scream for money. Place them and put them in the rightful scale. We are aware of our country financial situation. There is always a way to sit at the table for that. We are screaming now for our future. We have families to take care. This is the only job we have.
It is also no secret that we are a Force with a young generation that is growing in experience and knowledge. They are guided by the veterans, who are committed to making them and the organization, the best in the Region. This organization itself has its own rules and regulation. We are our own society whereby norms, religion and value are the basic. While working towards these goals, for their organization, the members also are looking forward, to their placement into the new organization, which should have been done since these numbers 10-10-10 and not 10-10-?
This led them to believe the following:
There is always a struggle where it pertains to officers getting what they are entitled to and/or owed to them and yet our leaders are making US look bad in the region and thru the world, by making statement that are damaging to our organization and also the US.
Making reference to the numerous court cases that are won by members against Government.
Despite knowing that they are being neglected, these members never lose hope. They show up for work every day ready to serve and protect the community. But we are been pushed to a edge. We are being excluded of everything that we entitled to. Hard work and energy used in 2016, today seems to be in vain. The achievement reached in 2016, was for the members of the Police Force Sint Maarten.
There is wealth without health. It is also a saying that there is no prosperity for a country without a good defense. The Justice workers are the defense of this country. And no one should play with a defense of a country. Let’s US all really focus and the bigger pictures that are coming. And to my leaders. This the time the workers need you the most. This the time, for our leaders to be there with the workers, because without them there is no leader.
President of the N.A.P.B.