Workers want management team in place for police force

PHILIPSBURG–The membership of the various unions representing the police force are calling for a complete management team to be put in place for the St. Maarten Police Force post haste.

The membership made the call during a meeting with their unions last week.

ABVO St. Maarten Union advisor Lyndon Lewis Jr. told reporters at a recent press conference held jointly with several other unions that the membership is not happy with what they see as the dictatorial actions of the current Chief of Police.

Due to the absence of a police management team, all decisions for the force including hiring, he said, is taken by one person – the Chief of Police. He said also that there has not been a management team in place since St. Maarten assumed its new constitutional status within the Dutch Kingdom on October 10, 2010.

He said currently there are, in some cases, unqualified persons holding multiple senior positions in the force, while these positions can be opened up for one qualified person to hold each post, to make up a proper management team.

He said the structure for the management team would include qualified persons holding the posts of Head of Immigration; Head of the Judicial Department, which is currently held by Denise Jacobs, who also has other responsibilities; Head of Human Resources; Head of Surveillance as well as Deputy Chief of Police.

“The police force does not have a management team. It is being run by a dictator who negatively influences the Minister of Justice. The [current – Ed.] management of the Police Force of St. Maarten has failed to do their jobs in following the proper procedures in evaluations, promotions, upgrades, etc. and having employees put aside for their personal interest,” Lewis Jr. said in relating what the membership indicated during the meeting with the unions last week.

“The police management has proven to be incompetent to give over the necessary information to the Secretary General or to the Cabinet of the Minister of Justice about the people’s business. The union representatives present along with the members will not tolerate the mismanagement of the St. Maarten Police force nor the victimisation being done to the vast majority of its employees. Only a selective few that has close ties with management, to be exact the Police Chief, get their personal matters resolved without a fight while the majority are afraid to speak out and are demotivated in silence,” he said.

“Just like how management can draft up dismissal with haste or remove employees from their post and have them home at the people’s expense, they should be competent to evaluate and make sure that the officers and other employees get what is due to them,” he said.

Source: The Daily Herald