The Dutch Caribbean Police Force KPCN celebrated “Korpsdag” on Saba with a mass at Wesleyan Holiness Church followed by an official ceremony and community lunch at Sunny Valley Youth Center in The Bottom on Sunday, October 21.
Acting Saba Chief of Police Wingrove Baker hosted the ceremonies in the absence of Saba KPCN Chief Herman Oosterveen, currently off island. Referring
to the Dutch, English and Papiamento spoken by the taskforce, Baker spoke of the various cultures that the police force strives to bring together in a working institutional setting. He noted the presence of the various institutional representatives during the mass, including Governor Jonathan Johnson, thanking them for their role in the achievements of the KPCN in the two years since its founding.
The youth “worship team” made up of Isaiah Liburd, Esther Henry, Le-kuan Smith, Berline Germaine and Ruth Biswane proved to have great vocal abilities.
They were joined by singers Joyce Bowen, Elvis Levenstone, Wingrove Baker and young drum players Kamal Daniel, Bertie and Kaleb. Hosting Pastor Vernon Liburd blessed the police force for their efforts and spoke about the challenges and personal sacrifices the task force has to deal with, and about the complexity and solemnity of the act of enforcing justice.
Baker also spoke about the institutional and personal upgrading that the police force has undergone within the short amount of time. He remarked on the personal sacrifices of the task force members who rotate their assignments every six months and have to leave family and friends for the duration in order to serve.
Governor Jonathan Johnson spoke about the continued investment in material resources, such as the upgrading of the police station in The Bottom and the completion of the jail cells. He commended the task force for working towards securing the safety of the island, a responsibility they share with the entire community. He also spoke about the issue of youngsters being convicted of crimes linked to alcohol consumption, and the lifelong impact this has on them, as they seek public service positions later in life. He talked about the continued need to invest in the education of the youth, working together with parents to assure the future of the island’s security.
The celebration concluded with Acting Chief of Police Baker handing out special recognition gifts to individual task force members and all community partners who assist the police force in carrying out their duties and those who assure continuity throughout the transitional years.
Source: The Daily Herald, October 23, 2012