PHILIPSBURG: — The Minister of Justice Rafael Boasman announced on Wednesday at the Council of Ministers press briefing that the prison director Edward Rohan was asked to go on a leave of absence which will take effect on Monday. The Minister said Rohan agreed to the request and that two persons that are already working within the justice ministry will be the ones to regulate the issues at the prison and to bring the prison back to normal.
He further stated that one of the two persons will be dealing with human resources since there are a number of prison workers out on sick leave, while the other person will deal with the technical aspects of the management of the prison. When asked to give reasons why Rohan was asked to go on a leave of absence, the Minister said it was based on all the incidents that have occurred at the prison over the past months and mostly because Rohan went to the media and made certain statements.
The Minister also announced that while St. Maarten is looking into building a new prison one of the primary focus right now is to repair the prison as much as possible with limited funds. He said there are doors, locks and other minor things that are not in working conditions and these things can be done by VROMI workers and will not cost a lot of monies. The Minister also assured that his Ministry is doing everything they could to ensure that the situation at the prison is normalized.
Justice Minister looking to hire police officers and recruits — crime rate unacceptable.
The Minister of Justice also addressed the crime situation on St. Maarten which he said is very much unacceptable. The Minister further explained that KPSM is undermanned and they are busy trying to hire new recruit persons to enter into the police training while the intention is to also hire some professional police officers from overseas. Minister Boasman said that KPSM is doing everything possible to ensure that the safety and security of the country are in order especially during the Heineken Regatta and carnival season. He said he knows that the people of St. Maarten are very worried about their safety and security. He said that KPSM has spoken to all stakeholders in order to find an immediate solution, however, the main issue is the lack of manpower.
The Minister further explained that even the new recruits are assisting the police but there are times those officers have to be in the classroom in order to complete their training. The Minister said that he already discussed the matter of hire professional police officers with the unions and he assured the unions that the hiring of those officers will not hamper the local officers especially when it comes to developing their career.
Minister Boasman also stated that the camera project will soon go online as he already held meetings with TELEM, it is expected the camera surveillance will deter the criminals.
He also said that KPSM met with their French counterparts and they have agreed to work closer in order to combat the heinous crimes that are taking place on the island.
Source: St. Martin News Network
Prison Director sent on leave of absence due to all the incidents and statements made by Rohan.