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35 Officers complete phase two of RSS Basic Course

35 Officers complete phase two of RSS Basic Course

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Thirty-five participants successfully completed phase two of the Regional Security System’s (RSS) Basic Course, which took place here in St. Vincent and the Grenadines.{{more}}

Twenty-seven male and eight female participants from RSS member states completed the second phase of the course, which entailed a combination of academic and jungle training.

Phase one of the Basic Course started back in May and was conducted in Barbados, with the second phase being conducted here where participants received instructions in map reading, marksmanship and basic first aid.

Kenroy James of the Royal Grenada Police Force (RGPF) received the ‘Best Student’ award, with Timothy Philip of the Royal Police Force of Antigua and Barbuda (RPFAB) taking the runner-up spot.

Other awards went to Gemma Louis of the Commonwealth of Dominica Police Force (CDPF); Latoya Adams, also of the RPFAB, taking the Award for the Best Turned out Student.

Markinson Chandler of the Royal Barbados Police Force (RBPF) took the ‘Best at First Aid’ award; Delroy Julian (CDPF) – Best at Academics; Gemma Louis – Most Physical Female and Kenroy James – Best Physical Male; Patrickson Esprit (CDPF) – Best Rifle Shot; Markinson Chandler (RBPF) – Best Pistol Shot and Kenroy James – Best at Map Reading.

Grantley Watson, Coordinator of the RSS at the closing ceremony last Friday, August 5, spoke of the importance of having a structure such as the RSS.

“There is no doubt that the security forces of our region are one of the physical contributors to regional and national socio-economic development,” Watson explained.

He spoke of the context of the RSS, saying that it was important for our region, where resources were limited and threats similar in scope.

Watson further explained that while the issue that formed the RSS had changed, that is, to protect governments throughout the region from any threat, there were new challenges.

Challenges of trans-national criminals and the drug trade continue to plague the region, Watson said.

“The protection of our region is our priority and security is important,” he said.

Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves, featured speaker at the closing ceremony, also commented on the differences in tasks of modern times for the RSS.

“Our threats come from criminals…engaged in drug trafficking, human trafficking, money laundering and terrorism,” Gonsalves said.

“There are an entirely different set of challenges and a different set of responses,” he continued.

Drug traffickers were powerful and more sophisticated, Gonsalves said, which meant that officers needed to be trained, so that they have a strong sense of character to ignore bribes from those who make money from the proceeds of crime.

“If you love the drugman’s money, all your training profits you nothing.”

He further explained that in small societies like ours, all it needed was one or two bad apples for issues to arise.

“When you try to weed them out, they say is politics,” Gonsalves explained.

He contended that while he was satisfied that there were a lot of good people in the Police Force, there was need for more training resources.

“Not just firearms and being in the jungle,” he said, adding that the criminals were far more sophisticated and ruthless.

The prime minister called for more officers to make themselves more available to training in police administration and the science of policing, so that they can defeat the criminals.