On Sunday, June 4th, 2021, the Honorable Minister of Justice, Ms. Anna E. Richardson travelled to Curaçao to meet with various justice officials, agencies, and institutions to discuss development opportunities between the two countries as it relates to law enforcement services. Upon arrival, Minister Richardson received a warm welcome by the Honorable Prime Minister, Mr. Gilmar Pisas, at the Hato International Airport.
Today, Monday July 5th, 2021, Minister Richardson commenced the week with a visit to the education institution for law enforcement; Opleidingsinstituut Rechtshandhaving (ORV). She received an honorable welcome and was shown a presentation that gave a full overview of the various levels of accredited courses. Officers within the various agencies such as Prison, Immigration, Police, Customs and Coast Guard undergo these courses to ensure they are certified to carry out their duties as prescribed by law. Minister Richardson engaged in high level discussions with the Director of the education institution, Ms. Alpha Falbru with the aim that Sint Maarten officers may once again join the Curaçao based institution to be officially taught and certified to execute their protective service to Sint Maarten.
Prior to 10-10-10, all officer of Sint Maarten, Saba, Statia and Bonaire were required to travel to Curacao to undergo these courses. With separate status, Sint Maarten opted to establish its own institution known as the Justice Academy. The institution experienced its challenges including being questioned of its accreditation. Ultimately, the present-day status of education and proper certified training for justice workers remains scattered. Minister Richardson is a strong proponent for education and is in pursuit to re-establish a standardized and recognized education program for front line workers including prison guards within the justice chain.
Minister Richardson stated, ?During the day, I had fruitful meetings with Honorable Prime Minister and acting Minister of Justice, Mr. Pisas and the Minister of Finance Kennet Gijsbertha. Strengthening relations with our sister country will open the door for supporting each other, particularly in the areas where Curaçao has facilities and services that Sint Maarten currently does not or is in the process of establishing.?
Minister Richardson?s schedule includes a visit to the school of Corrections, the Prison and the office of the Victim Support Services. During her visit, Minister Richardson will also host the JVO conference on July 7th. The JVO is a conference that is held twice a year between the four Ministers of Justice within the Kingdom. The conference allows for the Ministers to discuss matters regarding their respective ministries and how it relates to their country, also allowing an opportunity for the press to ask questions to any of the four ministers.
?I am eager to learn more about Curaçao?s law enforcement structure and the policies used to govern the Ministry and its department agencies with emphasis on resource management, personnel management, policies, procedures and protocols. Therein, my objective is to maximize on all opportunities while serving as the Minister of Justice. This work visit gives both Curaçao and Sint Maarten an opportunity to have open dialogue about our vision regarding various justice related matters and joint approaches that can be taken moving forward,? stated Minister Richardson.