The parade – which traditionally is held once monthly – commenced at the Police Training Complex, flowed down Sandown Road, west along the Bay Road, up Fort Street, East along Cayon Street, up Burt Street, culminating on Lozack Road at the back of the Basseterre Police Station.
Before the parade took to the streets however, the Commissioner of Police, Austin Williams – as is the tradition – took the salute from the officers.
To the pulsating rhythm of the Police Drum Corps, the officers made their way through the streets of the city making strides in complement with the musical accompaniment.
Led by members of the Police High Command, the parade was comprised of five platoons: the first for members of the Special Services Unit (SSU) and the Drug Squad, the second and third for general police officers, the fourth for women police officers and the fifth comprised of recruits who are currently in their 12th week of training.
Commissioner of Police Williams explained to MiyVue.com that the parade serves a number of purposes including allowing members of the public to further familiarise themselves with members of the police force as well as to highlight and improve weaknesses and strengths of the police officers.
“We try to have the Commissioner’s Parade on a monthly basis as a means of coming together and marching through the streets. It is also for inspection purposes, for us to check and see if the officers’ kits (uniforms) and turnout in appearance are in order,” Williams explained.
He also indicated that in recent times, the Commissioner’s Parade was held in Sandy Point and in Cayon and plans are afoot to have the parade held again outside of the Basseterre area.
Culminating the parade, the Commissioner thanked the officers for their turnout and rewarded five persons “best turned out individual” (one per platoon).
The platoon one awardee is Constable Francis, Corporal Thompson of platoon two, Constable Lockhart for the third platoon, Woman Police Constable Tross for the fourth platoon and from the recruits platoon, Constable Douglas.
These officers were – according to the COP – rewarded with an extra day off at their leisure and Constable Francis who was adjudged best overall officer was rewarded with an additional day off.
The COP explained to this media house that as a result of the parade, not only were the officers rewarded for their exemplary showing but those whose showing was below par, were punished.
“We see room for improvement. Some persons were booked for not being as tidy as they should have been. They were penalised with loss of a rest-day leave and with extra duties.”