Boasman stands 100 per cent behind Police Chief

PHILIPSBURG–Justice Minister Rafael Boasman said on Wednesday that he stands 100 per cent behind Carl John as the Chief of Police and indicated that if persons have issues with the Police Chief, there are ways and means to address it.

Boasman was at the time responding to questions from The Daily Herald regarding statements made by the unions representing the St. Maarten Police Force at a press conference last week. At that conference, ABVO St. Maarten Union advisor Lyndon Lewis Jr. related the sentiments of the union’s membership whom he said had indicated that a complete management team is needed for the Police Force and expressed displeasure at certain actions of the current Chief of Police.

Boasman said during the Council of Ministers press briefing that a management team is already in place within the Police Force, with John as the Chief of Police. “And I stand 100 per cent behind Mr. Carl John as the Chief of Police. If there are any problems with the Chief of Police or any other heads of departments, there are ways and means to deal with it,” the Minister said, noting that he will not get into any tit-for-tat with the unions.

At their press conference last week, the unions had also indicated that they would be giving the Minister deadlines within which to address specific issues such as the police Function Book, amongst other issues.

Boasman said while he is not aware of the specific comments made by the union, it had been agreed during his last meeting with the unions that parties would meet every two months to discuss the progress of the issues raised. Weeks into his meeting with the unions, the Minister said he received a request for an urgent meeting with the unions to discuss the points already discussed before.

Besides the fact that he had been engaged in a conference, Boasman said he has “no intention to meet with unions every week to thrash out the same things over and over. We are all working for the same group.” The Minister said if the unions have further questions and they cannot wait until the regularly scheduled meetings, they can send him correspondence and he will try to answer them.

The Minister said he will be the first to sit at a table with the unions. He noted, however, that as a former trade unionist, the approach being taken by the unions is not the way to address matters. He said issues have to be discussed in a respectful manner and parties have to respect each other.

Source: The Daily Herald