PHILIPSBURG--The Council for Law Enforcement is calling for better training of the Sint Maarten Police Force in a new report it presented to Minister of Justice Dennis Richardson on Monday, March 31.
"In spite of tight budgeting at the dismantling of the Netherlands Antilles, the St. Maarten Police Force vigorously took up the training of its personnel by offering staff a great number of short-term trainings, courses and workshops in different areas. Additionally, 12 police trainees successfully completed Basic Police Training in 2013," the Council said in a press release announcing the new report.
However, where it concerns the more structural police training, the St. Maarten Police Force is facing a challenge, the Council stated. New employees need to follow basic police training within a short period, and it is necessary for more experienced employees to be given the possibility to catch up with years of backlog in training for management and secondary police functions.
The number of extraordinary police officers ("bavpollers") working for the Police Force clearly has led to more police officers on the streets. However, the Council stresses that the bavpollers' tasks should be limited to specific police tasks. Even though the bavpollers had a very short training and the legal selection standards were not always met, these bavpollers still were accepted in the Police Force and are not limited in their tasks and authorisations.
The Council for Law Enforcement considers it undesirable that this group is given tasks and authorities for which they have not been trained sufficiently. The Council thinks clear selection, education and training requirements should be formulated for the training for "buitengewone agenten van politie."
The Council notes that only NAf. 150,000 has been reserved for training of police on the budget of Country St. Maarten for 2014. The Council wonders whether this amount is sufficient.
The Council urges the Police Force to design a long-term training plan and the Minister of Justice to support the police training plans financially. Given the limited resources, cooperation with other countries – for example, Curaçao and the BES islands Bonaire, St. Eustatius and Saba – would be the most achievable option to provide new and existing police personnel with training.
In St. Maarten, the training possibilities for the police are insufficient. There is no police school in St. Maarten that offers, for example, basic police training. The Council recommends that a decision must be taken at the soonest opportunity concerning the necessity of a Police Training School. Furthermore, a part of the legislation applicable for police training must be implemented and modernised urgently, so that the requirements with which the training must comply are clear to everyone.
With this report the Council envisages providing an overview of the state of affairs with respect to police education in St. Maarten, contributing to quality improvement of police education and, by extension of this, the professionalism of police education in St. Maarten.
Pursuant to the Kingdom Act on the Council for Law Enforcement, the Minister will be given the opportunity to send the advice of the Council to Parliament within six weeks, along with his policy response. After six weeks the report will be available for publication and downloading at
The Council for Law Enforcement was established by Kingdom Act in 2011. It is an inter-insular independent body, responsible for the inspection of the various organisations within the Justice System. The ultimate objective is to provide recommendations to the Ministers of Justice of the three countries of the Dutch Kingdom to correct shortcomings.
The Council consists of three members who are appointed by Royal Decree and represent respectively Curaçao, St. Maarten and the Netherlands for the islands Bonaire, St. Eustatius and Saba. The Council has a secretariat with offices in St. Maarten, Curaçao and Bonaire.