Smooth transition at Port Authority
December 3, 2013
Smooth transition at Port Authority

Officials at the St Vincent and the Grenadines Port Authority (SVGPA) have declared that the transition from port police officers to members of the Royal St Vincent and the Grenadines Police Force (RSVGPF), securing the compound, have gone smoothly.{{more}}

Bishen John, the manager of the SVGPA told SEARCHLIGHT yesterday that “the change went smoothly”.

“It has gone well…we now have the police manning the gates, securing the external of the compound and there are police officers currently in training. I think a total amount of…40 persons were taken on from the police force,” John said.

Additionally, the manager revealed that more persons from the RSVGPF began duties at the port yesterday.

“This is all in helping with the barrel operations which we anticipate,” he said.

“Although the concession was given since the 18th (November), we really have only now started to see the barrels coming.

“So, we have some of them (police officers) from the training school who have training and they have been working with the more experienced persons who have been there since August”.

Yesterday, through the Organization of American States (OAS), a seminar was hosted in St Vincent and the Grenadines to address port protection and security.

Human Resources manager for the SVGPA Charmaine Tappin-John noted that the seminar was timely, given the circumstances.

“This seminar on port protection and security has been long in the making,” she said.

“We moved from a staff of over 80 port police to just under 20 surveillance officers and we have added to the number of persons being on the ports, securing our ports with the staff of the police force.

“It therefore means that if this seminar had taken place at the time when it should have, maybe over a year ago, we would have lost that training, so it is very timely now that we do it at this time”.

Tappin-John added that St Vincent and the Grenadines has always had a fruitful relationship with the OAS and that the SVGPA is delighted to be partnering with them to provide training.

In May, Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves announced the possibility of port police officers being severed and members of the police force taking up their posts at the ports, in an effort to provide better security.

Shortly after, a decision was made and several port police officers were severed.

At the beginning of August, the responsibility for security of the ports was officially handed over to the Commissioner of Police.(BK)