BASSETERRE, St. Kitts - DESPITE the back-and-forth dialogue over the sustainability of the Explorers Group following a shake-up within its ranks by Commissioner of Police James Sutton, Prime Minister Dr. Drew Terrance Drew is committing to its longevity.
Since the Top Cop announced the shake-up with Sergeant Ricardo ‘Ricky’ Sampson being appointed Leader of the Community Policing Team with responsibility for the Explorers Clubs on St. Kitts, there have been public outcries and concerns raised over its sustainability by officers within the Police Force with direct responsibility for the programme.
But during a discussion with SKNVibes News on the issues and concerns over sustainability of the programme, Dr. Drew, who is also the Minister of National Security, said: “From my perspective, I am going to invest even more in the Explorers Club.”
He continued: “The Explorers Club has a mandate – I had been a part of the Explorers Club at some point in St. Peter’s in terms of giving external support, it’s a good club, and I will give it full support as Prime Minister”.
He pledged that the club would get stronger in the coming years.
Founded in 2017, the Explorers Club is a community policing initiative that provides an avenue and a safe space for young people within the communities to stay away from gang violence.
According to media reports, there are currently 1,400 young people registered within the programme.
Recognizing the importance of the programme, the Police Force issued a statement bloating the words of the officers who spoke out against the shake-up within the ranks, writing in part, “The Royal St. Christopher and Nevis Police Force (RSCNPF) is aware of a ludicrous allegation circulating concerning the status of the Explorer’s Club (EC). The Force staunchly refutes the absurdity and decries the malicious mind responsible for crafting such nonsense.”
Not necessarily addressing the concerns, the statement continued in part: “The RSCNPF has most recently launched an overarching organisation improvement strategy. The plan is aimed at elevating the standard of policing nationwide. To this end, citizens and residents of St. Kitts and Nevis will readily observe positive changes in the types and styles of the Force’s community policing operations in the coming months.”
It also noted that “the Explorers Club is a crucial aspect of community policing and engagement as it caters to our youth. By its very definition, the continued function of the Club is a given”.
Some of the questions being asked are: “What initiatives would be expected for the programme, changes and overall objectives for a revamped EC?”
But, in response, the Prime Minister has committed to ensuring the success of the programme going forward.