#TurksandCaicos, May 22, 2018 – Providenciales – Opening with light humor and reflecting on their Theme “Fusing Ideas to Promote Standards and Unity in Regional Law Enforcement,” Premier Robinson shared a story of Caribbean nationals living in the UK and how fusing ideas, agreeing standards and sticking together achieve the outcome they all wanted.
See Highlights of Her Remarks Below:
I wish at the outset to welcome you to the Turks and Caicos Islands and trust that these days together be truly productive ones as you no doubt review your last year against your Organisations Vision and Objectives and that you are enthused and excited to take on a near year.
Until I received this Invitation, admittedly I was unaware of the Organisation. I researched your Website and saw where you were formed some years ago in the Bahamas by 9 countries. Your vision statement and objectives are noble but it must be more than that: it must be live and active.
Policing is a noble profession and you may be right up there with politicians who are needed but are more abused by those they are charged to take care of than any one else. Feelings of under-appreciation, in a too often thankless job, frustrated sometimes by the same Organisation we are a part of but expected to solve problems without the people the greatest partners we can both have. Too many are silent when things go right and whilst you do not work for praises, you think it would be good every now and then to hear “thank you”, thank you for the sacrifices you make, what you expose your family to. Job well done. Did I capture that right?
But what ought to keep you motivated? Love of job yes, but love of the same people…what a conundrum! Why? Because nothing is as satisfying as helping people, protecting people and doing your job well. Trust me, you are specially called to this field. Not any and everyone can be a Police. But just as important as the love of job and love of people, you, the Welfare Association ought to keep your Organisationmotivated. You must have your hand on the pulse of the Organisation: the members. They need your voice at the Table you sit. You must make it your business to know the collective as well as individual challenges and struggles. You must be allowed to do your job and you must meet with your members but also you must meet with your Governments. No Government wants or needs a Policing Body that is unhappy.
I note your mission:
Pillar 1: “To Collaboration and co-operation in the development of representation on behalf of its members”.
You here have taken on a more nobler role, that of helping your fellowmen by representing their cause. You must be bold in your role and carry out your duties without fear and favour. The welfare of persons who are charged with keeping the peace is not a slight thing. We need healthy (not just physically but mentally healthy) and happy Officers and that is in your hands.
But while the Welfare Association is responsible for the Police, it is equally important that each member realise that he/she is responsible for each other for whatever one of you do, reflects on all of you. Be honest, be fair and do your job.
I also charge those in higher ranks to do not be stumbling blocks or to be a reason why the local Associations are unable to represent effectively. It can only help the Organisation: boost morale and involvement with a greater flow of ideas from quarters who otherwise could not be heard. You must represent on issues even when they do not affect you.
Secondly I note that the second Pillar of your Mission is “To communicate with the ACCP, CARICOM and any other stake holders on matters brought to the attention of its executive and make recommendations”.
I challenge you to ensure that National Security – the threat to our region be a staple item on Caricom’s Agenda. You are in this respect the caretakers of our tourism product. The infiltration of weapons and unsavory characters is an issue for us all. Whilst we seem to all be moving towards APIS and AFIS, we as a region must continue to pool our best resources: our minds.
And whilst we speak of enforcement even in our local context as a region, we must see the best strategy will and must always be to rehabilitate and prevent. Let this also be at the forefront of your minds in your local representation and regional representation at the highest level of Caricom. A region moving together focused on the right things can be a powerful change.
We must feel you in our individual countries and region. You are vital whether you accept it, feel it or not.
I wish for you a fresh zeal as you work to strengthen your Organisation and each other and as you seek to strengthen each other and consequently your Organisation.
Hon Sharlene L Cartwright Robinson
Premier & Minister of Finance
The Turks and Caicos Islands