His Lordship, Mayor Peterson D. Francis presided over the swearing in ceremony of 23 new constables at mayor’s office in the Castries City Hall on Monday, December 19, 2016.
The 14 men and 9 women, among who are 6 former police officers of the Royal St. Lucia Police Force, took the oath at 10:53 AM after the official proceedings began at 10:00 AM.
Present at City Hall for the swearing in ceremony were:
- Minister of National Security – Hon. Hermangild Francis
- Minister of Health – Hon. Mary Isaac
- Minister of Agriculture – Hon. Ezechiel Joseph
- Minister of Local Government – Hon. Fortuna Belrose
- Minister of External Affairs – Hon. Sarah Flood-Beaubrun
- Deputy Mayor – Anselma Calderon
- Police Commissioner – Severin Moncherry
This first batch of city police will serve and protect in the City of Castries during what will be a three month training and appraisal program. They will also attend the training academy of the police service as part of an ongoing capacity building program.
Over the past years, many shared the view that the City Constabulary Officers, now re-branded as City Police, lost their spark as their numbers dwindled, resulting in a security lapse and lack of law enforcement in the city. The new recruits will be an addition to the 13 constabulary officers currently employed. Another batch of recruits is expected during the first quarter of 2017 increasing the numbers in the unit to 50.
“We can’t make change alone,” His Lordship Mayor Peterson D. Francis said.
“Citizens and visitors alike have for too long lamented the creeping sense of insecurity in the city of Castries. Criminals cannot continue to act with boldness and impunity. We have come a very long way, and indeed I am delighted that the City Police idea I spoke to on several occasions is bearing fruit. The city’s police force will be committed to building trust and will have a positive influence on the community.”
His Lordship charged the recruits with two tasks: Treat everyone with dignity and respect, and become part of the community. His Lordship stated: “The department’s aim should be to strengthen relations within the city’s neighborhoods. Community policing should be the backbone of what we do. This recruitment drive speaks of our commitment, my commitment, to maintaining law and order and restoring a sense of safety in our city.”
Mayor Francis thanked the City Council, police leadership, and national security and local government ministers for their efforts.