By Dana Malcolm
#TurksandCaicos, January 15, 2023 – Josephine Connolly, Minister of Tourism has been named the Turks and Caicos Weekly News Person of the Year for 2022. She was highlighted by the newspaper on January 7th for her resilience through not only her own political comeback but leading the Tourism ministry through its comeback from COVID as well.
“Still She Rises” was the headline gracing the cover of the issue which dealt with Connolly’s introduction to politics and the upheaval during her first term which led to her being named a cabinet minister then terminated from the PDM and finally crossing the floor to the PNP to definitively win her seat once again.
Author of the article Gemma Handy describes Connolly’s ‘steady hand at the helm of TCIs mainstay which kept the country punching above its weight’ in the Tourism market as the reason she was bestowed the honor.
She described how her mother fostered in her and sister an entrepreneurial spirit. “As little as we were, if anyone came in for a carton of milk or a bottle of kerosene we were sensible enough to sell it— if someone came in for gas, my sister would say, you take care of the oil and I will go behind the counter. That’s where we got our entrepreneurial spirit from.”
She is now the owner of several successful businesses including a car rental agency; radio station; and real estate dealership. Her sojourn into politics and her reentry as a PNP candidate she said was to help the people of the TCI.
“I had some unfinished business, and I wanted to be able to prove to the people of this country that I can represent them—my heart is good, people know me and they knew me from before politics. I feel like I have an obligation to help my country and I like helping people.”
Connolly joins the ranks of Drexwell Seymour, Ruth Forbes, Anya Williams, Washington Misick, Rita Gardiner, Delano Williams and Blythe Clare who have all been named at Person of the Year by the country’s oldest newspaper.
TCI Police Confirm Passenger Death after Emergency Landing at PLS
A female passenger who fell ill during a flight while on route to Charlotte, North Carolina from the Dominican Republic was taken from that plane and transported to the Cheshire Hall Medical Center where sadly, she died.
The 41-year-old woman had been escorted to the hospital by police units; we are told that CPR was performed on the passenger.
Police in that statement on Wednesday informed, s a post mortem will determine the cause of death.
Police hear major concerns from GT residents
#TurksandCaicos, March 4, 2024 – Given the opportunity to liaison with the top brass of the Royal Turks and Caicos Islands Police Force, residents came prepared with the concerns that have been plaguing them for years, from detective work to 911 issues.
”Y’all didn’t say anything new, we keep hearing the same thing and we keep getting the same result,” was the complaint from the very first resident who spoke; but her biggest concern was the force’s detective work.
The resident said she was not averse to sharing information with the police, far from it.
“Someone sent me a video where a young man was sitting on a bed putting two bullets in a gun— and he called two names, he said one bullet for one of these people.”
After sending the video to the police the woman says, incredulously, the police asked her to find the room where the young man was so they could go and collect the gun. Her frustration was: “It seems like the police put more of the burden on the community to provide them with information instead of going out there.”
In response to the concern, Dean Holden, Superintendent of Crime expressed that the police had had success recently, and over time because of community intelligence and would do better at working to communicate that success so residents were assured that they were making a difference.
A concern raised by another resident was the disconnect between 911 operators and Grand Turk residents.
“Once you call 911 operators they don’t know addresses in Grand Turk. I called the 911 operator, this was right by the police station, she didn’t even know where I was,” explained a resident sharing details of a car accident weeks prior.
The complaint has been an enduring one. Magnetic Media has received similar complaints regarding other serious incidents like fires and murders.
Oswald Skippings, Former Chief Minister demanded a more proactive approach to crime fighting with which Dileeni Daniel Selvaratnam, TCI Governor agreed. He didn’t just put the blame on the police, drawing the Governor and parents into the limelight outlining that they too had a part to play in the prevention of crime.
“There is a need for the government to reach down to unemployed residents, especially the youth and it’s easy because we have a small native population. We need to go under the trees, by the bars wherever these people associate and reach out to them.”
On the panel listening to the concerns were Micheal Woodbine, Superintendent of Prison; Dean Holden, Superintendent of Crime and SPPU; Rodney Adams, Deputy Commissioner; Chris Eyre, Acting Commissioner; and Dileeni Daniel Selvaratnam, TCI Governor.
The meeting was called after the public slaying of a young man in Grand Turk on February 8, 2024.
Not Enough Police in Grand Turk; Residents are vocal in Anti-Crime Town Hall Meeting
#TurksandCaicos, March 4, 2024 – Residents of Grand Turk, while appreciative of the recent police Anti-Crime Town Hall meeting on February 21, say they’re concerned about the number of officers being deployed to the nation’s Capital.
One resident who spoke to the police officers during the event brought statistics.
”I want to speak to what I see happening in Grand Turk. In the ongoing capacity carrying study. It has been noted that the population in Grand Turk is around 72 to 7300 – that works out to about 927 persons per square mile.”
The resident maintained that 927 persons per square mile on an island like Grand Turk was in the police’s favor and much could be done for crime fighting using both humans and technology. Citing the millions of visitors that visit the island’s shores each year, residents lamented that there was no police enforcement to go along with that.
”We live here, we see the change, probably the parliamentarians don’t see it but we see it and we expect that as citizens to have more than three police officers working the night shift.”
Other residents were in agreement, expressing frustration at the blind eye that they say is often turned to the capital.
“Why did it have to get to this point, that there had to be a shooting basically at the high school in order for people to [realize] that 20 or 15 or 28 officers just doesn’t cut it,” said one longtime resident
He complained that nine years ago, having moved to Grand Turk there were over 40 officers but with the increase in killings in Providenciales officers were stripped from Grand Turk. Now residents say they want them back.
Earlier, during the meeting police had promised that the increased presence in Grand Turk would not be temporary and they were exploring ways to increase the Force complement.
Hosting the meeting were executives of the Royal TCI Police including new Acting Commissioner Christopher Eyre; Dean Holden, Superintendent and Rodney Adams, Deputy Commissioner. Attending were Her Excellency, the Governor Dileeni Daniel-Selvaratnam and Otis Morris, Minister of Home Affairs and the Member of Parliament for Grand Turk North, the Hon. Otis Morris.
The meeting was held at H.J. Robinson High school.
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