Tuesday , March 28 2023

Police chief adjusted ambitions by slowing down


The Daily Herald writes that the new Commander of the Police Corps Caribbean Netherlands Hildegard Buitink has had to adjust her ambitions since she succeeded retired Chief Jan Rooijakker on July 1 of this year. To update the press on her experiences of the past period in her new job, she held a press conference on Bonaire together with Acting Commander Rosales. She’s now been with the corps for five months and thinks things get very tough at times. She realises she’s in command of a young and ambitious force. “At times, we want to make more progress than we can and have to slow down a bit,” Buitink said. She therefore adjusted her ambitions considerably. She realised this was necessary because not everyone in the corps can keep up just yet. They sometimes reach their limit. Buitink: “I come from a corps with 65,000 officers. I was a staff member. I’ve had various squads within my region and am used to switching quickly with all skills available. For example, the ME [riot – Ed.] training is quite normal for me, but that is not the case here so one has to adjust one’s ambitions.” She’s enthusiastic and finds it important to work on an honest team, which is why she focused lately on getting to know them and viceversa. She notices positive changes within the corps though, which is mainly due to the courses.

By introducing the MBO-4 training, the police personnel receive more substantiation and expansion of skills. Also, the knowledge on safety and teamwork with partners is being improved. MBO-4 is completely accredited and gives the right to a Dutch diploma. This new course is much broader than the old police training. It’s a follow-up on the trainee course and some have already graduated. With this, the officers in Bonaire, St. Eustatius and Saba are brought to the same level as the colleagues in the Netherlands. Buitink advocates a good contact between the police and population. Working on that is also a main point in the annual plan for 2014. This will be done not only through a better contact with the press, but also by involving the residents in the districts. Contact moments will be introduced in the district whereby the citizens are invited to share their feelings, wishes and any suggestions. To improve the contact with the media, the Communication Department of the National Service Caribbean Netherlands RCN lends the corps a helping hand.

Someone from the National Police Netherlands is also looking into the current status of the police. Internally, Buitink also wants to involve the personnel more with important matters. She sets great store by fellow worker participation by means of a personnel council. “Besides the unions, it’s also important to have a council that can think along with the organisation,” Buitink said. Although the latest crime figures are available, they won’t be published officially until January 2014. Nevertheless, Buitink briefly touched on the main trends. Violent crimes such as robberies, abuses, threats and domestic violence are on the increase. Abuse occurs quite often. A possible explanation for this is that more complaints are filed now, according to the commander. Of the “crimes against property” – burglaries in homes and companies, theft of vehicles and scooters – theft scores the highest. Theft of scooters is mentioned separately because it’s a considerable plague. Nevertheless, the figures show a downward trend compared to the previous two years. She regrets there were two fatal accidents with scooter riders in November. This is partly due to the Island Council not having established the road traffic regulation yet so the police cannot take effective action, for example, against driving without a helmet.

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  1. René Caderius van Veen

    “This is partly due to the Island Council not having established the road traffic regulation yet so the police cannot take effective action, for example, against driving without a helmet.”….
    This is just a small thing. And ofte I have the impression that the police is hiding behind arguments like these: “There is no traffic regulation”, “There is no updated APV” etc.
    Very often this is non-sense. Causing danger by driving crazy, parking on wrong places or by being drunk while driving is forbidden also without a traffic regulation. Causing nuisance for neighbours by making too loud music is also not allowed even without an updated APV (Local Ordinance) and by the way – even in the old but still valid APV it is forbidden. The police and the responsible governor are both not functioning well in these cases.
    And spare Saba from sending those so-called well educated policemen and women from Bonaire.

  2. O.M.GOSH!!! You are a delight to read your write ups!! Keep those Bonaire Police away!!! I so agree, though the Chief Of Police from there is a real gentleman, and exudes kindness and respect and deserves the same. But the others are gun and hung ho here in our little island in Paradise. They the Gestapo!! Demand respect instead of earning it like Paula/Susan/William/Frank,etc.!! That doesn’t work here. Enough said.