The 24 individuals to whom PM Douglas spoke, were at the time being inducted into the nation’s principle law-enforcement agency, the Royal St. Christopher and Nevis Police Force (RSCNPF), following successful completion of approximately eight months of training.
After commending the men and women for their hard work and dedication, Dr. Douglas outlined some of the responsibilities which they as full-fledged constables and woman constables would have to assume, as upholders of the law.
“You must recognize that with this new and special moment of enlistment, comes special responsibilities as well; responsibilities that should not be taken lightly…You have now entered an official and important partnership in this country. It is a partnership between the public, the government and yourselves. Each of us…must do our part. It is the job of the government to ensure that laws are passed to make St. Kitts and Nevis a good place, a good place for you, your family and for everyone else…it is your job to obey those laws yourselves and to firmly but respectfully ensure that everyone else respects those laws as well.”
Elaborating on the role of the government in the fight against crime, Dr. Douglas indicated that it is also responsible for providing equipment and training for law enforcement officers. He placed the onus of management and care of said equipment, however, on the law enforcement officers.
“It is not the job of the government to simply pass those laws that will keep our country safe and stable. It is also our job to provide you with the training, the facilities, the equipment and the direction to enable you to assume your responsibilities which we have done and which we shall proudly continue to do.
“And while the government provides this equipment, this training, these facilities, it is essential that you manage all that is placed at your disposal with a maximum sense of responsibility…I need you to commit yourselves to honouring this obligation… St. Kitts and Nevis… it is home to us all. To us it is the most important place on earth and in fact it really is and to us, as we go about our daily lives, it is almost as though the rest of the world does not exist…”
Dr. Douglas reminded the inductees that “None of us…is above the law. Neither you, nor I the Prime Minister” and further expressed that the role of the public is “to obey the laws of the nation and to cooperate with you the police in a spirit of calm respect just you will deal with them in a spirit of calm respect…”
“There are countries all over the world that are (troubled) by war and turmoil and confusion. St. Kitts and Nevis is not like that and we must work together, the government, our security forces and the people to keep it this way…When we work together to build this country up, economically, socially, morally, spiritually,…everybody will benefit.”
The inductees were described by Dr. Douglas as “defenders of the state” and “upholders of the law” and as they endeavour to portray “good and decent living”, he said it is imperative that they do their part to “calm and control rage and anger in our society and to do so you must, like the rest of us, do your part to control rage and anger I your own relationships, in your own families, in your own neighbourhoods and communities, and within your own police force.”