Shooting Range and Forensic Lab, and dog brigade now available to investigators.
PHILIPSBURG:--- The Korps Politie St. Maarten (KPSM) is moving forward as the current Minister of Justice Edison Kirindongo along with his colleagues in the Council of Ministers work tirelessly to get the police the necessary tools they need to better solve crimes on St. Maarten.
On Friday, several dignitaries and invited guests were invited to the former Soremar Building located in Orange Grove Cole Bay where the Minister of Justice officially handed over the keys to the building which will house the police shooting range and the Forensic lab where a team of forensic technicians will be able to do much needed forensic work on St. Maarten rather than in the Netherlands. Some of the work the forensic lab will assist the police in solving are cyber-crimes.
Head of the detective department Denise Jacob in her speech explained how easier the additional tools will help KPSM and its detectives in solving crimes. She thanked the officers of the police force whom she said does their work despite the challenges and also commended those that will be working in the Forensic Lab on St. Maarten which is headed by Janine Cecile Muller-Rijna.
Apart from the shooting range and forensic lab, the Minister of Justice said that on very short notice the Chief of Police Carl John was able to provide him with an advice and scheduled meetings in order for them to have a “dog brigade” on the island. The Minister of Justice said four of the dogs were purchased in the Netherlands while training for the dogs was provided free of charge by his colleague Minister of Justice from Aruba.
Minister Kirindongo mentioned that finances on St. Maarten is scarce and while the government cannot direct the wind, surely they could adjust their sails to reach their destination.
The six weeks training for the dogs who along with their handlers put on a spectacular show for the audience will be completed by mid- August. For the first time St. Maarten has a female dog handler who is currently undergoing training. The dog brigade will be specialized in finding cellular phones, illicit drugs such as cocaine, XTC pills, marijuana and capturing dangerous suspects. While the dogs that will be used to find illegal items and cellular phones the one to capture high-risk suspect is Belgium Shepherd much bigger animal that is well trained in finding and capturing suspects that are armed and dangerous.
After the official part of the ceremony, the ribbon cutting was done by Minister of Justice Edison Kirindongo and head of the detective department Denise Jacobs while the keys was handed over to both Jacobs and Muller Rijna.
Leader of the United St. Maarten Party (USP) Frans Richardson on Friday congratulated Minister of Justice Edson Kirindongo for yet another accomplishment for the departments that fall under the Justice Ministry. The inauguration of the building to house a new Forensics Lab and Shooting range is “the latest in our efforts to give the police force of St. Maarten the tools they need to effectively and efficiently fight crime. We cannot accept an environment where our law enforcement is at a disadvantage so it is crucial that we do what we must to ensure they are well equipped to do their job,” Richardson said.
Forensic laboratories the world over, he said, are crucial to our criminal justice system. The expertise in our lab will provide invaluable information that aids in the investigation and prosecution of crime through the scientific examination of physical evidence. “We are in 2016. The majority of crimes today are solved using forensic science. There are newer technologies every year in this field. I want to see the day come when our lab not only plays a key role for solving crime locally, but can lend a hand to our neighbors as well,” Richardson said.
The USP leader also lauded the addition and creation of the K9-Brigade which will help officers track down and sniff out contraband and other material that criminal minded individuals might try to hide from law enforcement.