The Daily Herald writes that on Monday January 6, a group of eleven Marechaussees from St. Maarten, Saba and St. Eustatius started training for an upgrade in the functions from immigration officers to police officers. One person from Saba attended the training, along with four people from Statia, including a customs officer.
Group coordinator Cor Kranenburg explained the functional changes the personnel would be undergoing and the training process. The current training is for six month with participants having to work hard to accomplish their goal under the two instructors who carry out the trainings; John van Sloten and Leo Nijland. The first phase of the training will last for 11 weeks.
Kranenburg explained that there haven’t been any immigration officers on the islands of Statia and Saba since 10-10-10, but Marechaussees are now filling these posts. They are still doing the work of the former immigration officers, but now they are called Marechaussee just like in Holland. “St. Maarten, Curaçao and Aruba still have immigration officers. Bonaire, St. Eustatius and Saba have Marechaussee. This can be confusing, because they are still referred to as ‘immigration’ but actually they are Marrechaussee,” he said. “St. Maarten still has police officers and immigration officers,” he went on to explain. “So the three islands Bonaire, Saba and Statia fall under BES laws so what they have in the Netherlands is the same on these three islands, except for the Euro he said jokingly.
When the participants have completed the course they can carry out the full range of police work. The course continues until June 23, when they will receive their diplomas. They will be completing classroom training on Saba for 11 weeks after which they will be getting practical training on the job for four weeks. They will then return for another four weeks of training and back for another five weeks of practice on the job, followed by practical exams.