Top Police Officers rewarded
by KATHERINE RENTON
THE TOP SPOTS for policewoman and policeman of the year were snatched by youthful determination on the one hand and by a veteran in the Information Technology (IT) department on the other.
The awards were handed out last Friday at the Annual Police Award and Retirement Ceremony, hosted by the Police Welfare Association (PWA) and the Royal St Vincent and the Grenadines Police Force (RSVGPF).
A total of 61 awardees and 17 retirees were recognized at the ceremony, held at the Russell’s Auditorium.
To applause, it was announced that WPC 599 Romancia Jordan had copped the award for Policewoman of the Year, and PC 377 Angello Duncan for Policeman of the Year.
Before this, Jordan, who has been in the police force for three years, had already taken two other awards, an award for the Calliaqua police station, and the overall winner in the Eastern division.
The driven officer told SEARCHLIGHT that she felt proud and ecstatic to receive the award, “because even though I am a young police officer, I want to show all of my fellow officers that even though you are young, once you work hard, you can reach very far in the police force.”
Her mantra is that hard work brings success, and Jordan lives putting her best foot forward.
“I would like to thank Almighty God and family members for always encouraging me, my close friends, the Commissioner of Police, the other members of the police force who voted me to be policewoman of the year,” Jordan responded.
The Policeman of the Year, who also received the award for the IT department, was not present at the ceremony as he was sick, but he was contacted on Wednesday. The Corporal of 16 years disclosed that the award, which he received for the first time, was unexpected.
Duncan has been stationed at the IT department since he was enlisted, and he feels happy to have accomplished the achievement.
He gave some insight on how the year had played out for him, musing, “I wouldn’t say the year was difficult, I think I would have accomplished quite a lot in the year, and also in 2017. I would have attained some training course in digital forensics and I used this year to put some of those trainings into practice.”
For the coming year, he said that his goal is to continue in the same vein, “In trying to solve as much cases as possible with the use of technology, digital forensics etc, that would be my goal for this year.”
The Sports Policewoman of the Year joined the police force in 2017, and has been playing on the RSVGPF netball team, and played in the National Tournament this year. Her name is WPC 353 Damuris Dopwell-Browne.
Dopwell-Browne said that she was excited to receive the award, and that it was the first time she received it. The year had its challenges for the PC “in the beginning, but [she] pulled [her]self together.”
She expressed gratitude to her team-mates and coach, and stated that her goal for 2019 would be to win the national trophy.
PC 178 Kenneth Dember, the holder of the title of Sports Policeman of the Year is no stranger to achievements on the field.
Dember has a notable history as the Captain of the Cricket team for RSVGPF, and has led his team to victory many a time, and has even gained regional recognition by being the only player to gain selection on the Windward Islands Cricket team.
Among those speaking at the ceremony were Commissioner of Police Colin John, and Minister of National Mobilization, Frederick Stephenson.
Stephenson extended gratitude to all the officers present for the work that they have done in 2018 in keeping SVG safe. He noted that while this is not an easy task, “despite the challenges, the criminals in St Vincent and the Grenadines know that we have a wonderful and well established police force, police service that will see to it that we find you at every step of the way. No criminal in St Vincent and the Grenadines will mash up this beautiful nation of ours.”
The Commissioner also thanked his force, while noting that the number of murders had decreased from 39 at the same time in 2017, to 34. He also said that of the last 10 murders, seven arrests had been affected.
Speaking to the awardees, he stated, “You have gone beyond your call of duty, you have been acknowledged by your immediate supervisors and that is something for you to be proud of, and I ask that you applaud yourself for being acknowledged by the members of the organization, for the hard work that you are doing for your organization.”
He ended, “We realize that we are only as good as our last performance, so this is no time for complacency and no time to be laid back.”
Significantly, the Fire Department was awarded for best customer service, and Corporal 209 Philbert Chambers was specially awarded for his work at the Questelles Police Station.
Overall winners in the districts were PC 249 Desbert Douglas – Central; PC 693 Joel Williams – South Central; PC 684 Elsbert Williams – South Western; Corporal 287 Justin Cupid
– North Western; WPC 599 Romancia Jordan – Eastern; and for the Grenadines, WPC 244 Cliseena Butler.