BASSETERRE, St. Kitts – AFTER spending six weeks in The Commonwealth of The Bahamas to assist in security and recovery efforts following that country’s devastation by Hurricane Dorian in September, the four-member contingent of the Royal St. Christopher and Nevis Police Force returned home on Sunday (Nov. 3) to high praises.
According to a police communiqué, the contingent, led by Sergeant Ray Gordon and included officers Chad Cuffy, Otis Stevens and Victor Nicholas, aeeived aboard a Regional Security System’s aircraft at the Robert Llewellyn Bradshaw Internal Airport and was met by Prime Minister and Minister of National Security, Dr. the Hon. Timothy Harris; Commissioner of Police Hilroy Brandy; and Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) with responsibility for Operations, Adolph Adams.
The contingent left the Federation on September 20, for The Bahamas. It was led by Sergeant Ray Gordon and included Officers Chad Cuffy, Otis Stevens and Victor Nicholas. They formed part of a larger response that was coordinated by the RSS among its member states following a request for assistance from the territory which was devastated by Hurricane Dorian.
Initially, the contingent was expected to spend three weeks in The Bahamas before being rotated, but the members were asked to remain.
In welcoming the officers, Dr. Harris thanked them for the service they provided to the citizens and residents of The Bahamas.
“You were the first to have been chosen. Initially, it should have been a three-week assignment. I gather that overtime that was extended and you volunteered to be there. I want to say a special thank you on behalf of the people of St. Kitts and Nevis and on behalf of the people of the region for the sterling service that you rendered.”
The Prime Minister also said that though St. Kitts and Nevis is the smallest members state of CARICOM, in recent years it has been rendering support to member states, including cash, in times of tragedy.
“What for me is most memorable and outstanding is that we, the smallest member state within the CARICOM community, have been responding well to tragedies, misfortunes and pleas for support from member states. And we have been able, over the last four years or so whenever there has been a natural disaster, to respond by giving significant financial support. We are usually among the largest contributors of cash support to countries and also in this particular case, and in the case of Dominica to provide manpower.”
Commissioner Brandy also thanked the men and expressed his happiness that they returned safely.
“I’m very happy that you went to The Bahamas to serve. It shows that you have dedication and it shows that you have empathy…From all reports you did an excellent job in The Bahamas.”
ACP Adams also welcomed the men back to their homeland and commended them for volunteering their service.
“Not many of us can do that – being away from your family, being away from your loved ones – And I know that you did a good job from all reports, and so I want to take the opportunity to thank you and welcome you back.”
Speaking on behalf of the contingent, Sergeant Gordon said it was a pleasure serving the people of The Bahamas, adding that “our hearts…go out to them during the recovery efforts that are going on now”.
Each member of the contingent was previously exposed to training by the RSS in areas such as Disaster Management, and they all have experience in community policing.