Prime Minister, Roosevelt Skerrit, has said plans are in place for the construction of a new Police Headquarters to provide better and more adequate residency for police officers who reside in Roseau.
Skerrit said at the 33rd Recruit Graduation and Passing out Parade ceremony recently that Cabinet has made a decision to increase the police force by 100 additional police officers.
“We are putting plans in place for the construction of the new Police Headquarters and also to provide better and more adequate residency for the police officers who reside in Roseau,” he said. “Clearly, that which you have now is certainly unacceptable.”
He said he is personally concerned about the health of the police force.
“We have to be mindful of the ever presence of non communicable diseases in our country and therefore, it is important for us in the police force, to not only engage in training for the recruits or exercise for the recruits. Everyone, from the Chief of Police down, must engage from time-to-time in physical exercise, because that can have a serious impact if we are not mindful of this,” the prime minister advised.
Meantime, he admonished what he described as “a small group” that is not displaying exemplary behavior in the public and otherwise to do do their duty to protect the state and its residents.
“I want to say to you, that your duty is to protect the state and all of us who reside in the state…” Skerrit remarked. “Because your failure to protect us, you are also exposing yourself to that very same threat and your families to that very same threat.”
He added, “And the question is what will happen to you when you are no longer a police officer and you are retired? What kind of Dominica would you like to see? Do you want to see a peaceful Dominica where you can go to the beaches and hot springs as we wish at any time day or night? That is what we want to see in Dominica.”
He told the new officers that their responsibility must, therefore, be taken with great seriousness.
“You cannot exercise your duties based on who it is or what the person is, you have certainly to carry out your mandate in law,” he stated. “You are not above the law; none of us is above the law and therefore we have to carry out our duties in that regard.”
He said police officers only have authority given to them by Acts of Parliament. “Police officers cannot create laws,” he pointed out
Skerrit said his government shall continue to provide the police with all the resources it requires to execute its legal functions.