While the graduates and their families rejoice and celebrate the achievements of the new officers, a more serious posture is being taken by the Comptroller, Mr. Rodney Harris, who is of the view that changing times and changing trends in border crimes, have greatly changed the dynamics of customs operations.
Harris says this compels customs departments to perform more than just traditional roles of revenue collection and border protection. As a result, updated training is of vital importance.
The Junior Officers Basic Training Course which ran from January 28 to March 23, 2012, was undertaken under the auspices of the Caribbean Customs Law Enforcement Council (CCLEC) and saw participation from twenty four Customs officers from the St. Kitts and Nevis Customs and Excise Departments and the Montserrat Customs and Excise Department.
Mr. Theodore Browne, Assistant Comptroller with responsibility for training and also the 2012 CCLEC Course Coordinator, gave an overview of the exercise. He said two new topics were added to this year’s instruction to compliment numerous other topics covered. Mr. Browne, speaking from certainty that the class of 2012 participants have all been transformed from this spate of education, encouraged the group to follow up and pursue the Bachelor of Arts programme in Customs Management now available.
The two new topics were the Importance of the Bureau of Standards and Maritime ISPS Awareness.”
Harris reminded his fellow officers that border security efforts must be constantly fitted with continuous training to control the changing trends in border crimes. Training in this area, therefore, stated Harris, could be very wide ranging from drug detection and identification, to IT training in respect of cyber crimes.”
“Changing times have seen the use of mules to move large sums of money” he said. “These changing times have greatly changed the dynamics of our operations and we truly feel that our survival depends greatly on training and more training.”