Minister of Justice swears in Dutch Law enforcement assistance from the Netherlands

May 4, 2020 1:00 pm

This assistance was requested due to foreseen challenges with the COVID19 Crisis

POND ISLAND -- On Friday, May 1, 2020, Philipsburg, the Honourable Minister of Justice Anna E. Richardson, welcomed and swore in several Royal Netherlands Marechaussee Officers, Police Officers and Royal Dutch Marines who arrived on April 27th, 2020 from the Netherlands and will be here in St. Maarten until August 2020. All had been tested for COVID-19 before they departed from the Netherlands and again once they arrived in Sint Maarten.

The request for military assistance was made to ensure that public order and public safety are further maintained. Prime Minister Silveria Jacobs, Chair of the Emergency Operations Center (EOC), was consulted in the request, which was formally submitted through His Excellency Governor Eugene Holiday. Additionally, military assistance will serve to support our local law enforcement officers. They have all been working diligently to maintain a strong presence throughout our districts enforcing compliance with the lockdown measures.

As such, the assistance will also help to bolster current efforts by our local police force in maintaining a zero-tolerance approach to those who show blatant disregard for the lockdown regulations. It must be emphasized that under the current measures amidst this global public health crisis, congregations of people in large groups, as well as driving on the public road without authorization on lockdown days, will not be tolerated and those in violation will be dealt with according to the law.

Minister Richardson expressed her appreciation on behalf of the Council of Ministers (COM) and, by extension, the people of Sint Maarten, to all those involved in supporting the request for assistance, in particular the Dutch Minister of Defence Ank Bijleveld. Also, Minister Richardson thanked the officers who have come to assist our country during this very challenging time.

I commend and applaud the efforts of law enforcement, who, despite working tirelessly every day, understand their civic duty and continue to make the best out of our current situation. It is therefore vital that all citizens and residents return the favor by continuing to persevere and do their part by adhering to the measures put forth by CPS and the EOC during this lockdown period, said Minister Richardson.