??Pictured (left to right) Political Officer US Embassy Charles Hillyer, Superintendent of Police (Dominica) Nicholas George, Senior Superintendent and Commandant of the Regional Police Training Centre Eucklyn Thompson, Warrant officer Regional Security System Cherrol Deane and US Embassy’s Narcotics Officer Robert McDonald. (C.Pitt/BGIS)

The Regional Security System (RSS) has been lauded for its efforts in maintaining relative stability in the region.

This was stated by Senior Superintendent and Commandant of the Regional Police Training Centre, Eucklyn Thompson, as he addressed the opening ceremony of a Basic Training Course for police officers drawn from the RSS’ seven member states. The ceremony was held today at the RSS Training Facility at Paragon Base, Christ Church.

Mr. Thompson said: "I am particularly heartened by the linkages maintained by the RSS with donor agencies to strengthen its capacity, provide training and support to its stakeholders and to continue on a growth and developmental path."

He cautioned law enforcement executives and planners to pay special attention to local, regional and global developments which would have implications for the sovereignty, stability, security, peace and comfort of the Caribbean people.

Mr. Thompson maintained that transnational and cyber crimes, along with the thriving drug trade also posed serious problems in terms of law enforcement in the region. He said they had "implications for national security and the general management of law enforcement services, including maritime security and the cooperation and support of our Caribbean leaders for our common goals and objectives".

He further underlined that regional police officers had to be highly skilled individuals, who were competent and efficient in responding to the current challenges and problems that emerged.

Meanwhile, RSS Superintendent and staff officer responsible for planning Nicholas George, told the trainees that some 16,000 kilos of cocaine, at a cost of US $800 million had been confiscated by law enforcement personnel in the region over the last 10 years.

Mr. George told the police officers that the threat was "up close and personal. It is in your faces…It is in your homes… It is going to corrupt our societies. Your task is extremely serious. Wear the uniform with pride… and go back unified in purpose. Find strength in unity and maintain that unity".??

Phase 1 of the 12-week course will take place in Barbados and run until July 15. It will see 34 police officers from Member States of the RSS being exposed to basic military training. At the end of the programme they will be able to join any Special Services Unit or its equivalent.

Phase II will be held in St. Vincent and the Grenadines, from Saturday, July 16 to Friday, August 5. (CL/BGIS)


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