Last Friday May 1, 2020, the Honorable Minister of Justice Anna E. Richardson, welcomed and swore in a number of Royal Netherlands Marechaussee Officers, Police Officers and Royal Dutch Marines who arrived here on April 27th, 2020 from the Netherlands and is expected be here on St. Maarten until August 2020. All had been tested for COVID-19 before departure from the Netherlands and again after arriving here on Sint Maarten.
The request for military assistance was made to ensure public order and public safety be further maintained. Prime Minister Silveria Jacobs, Chair of the Emergency Operations Center (EOC), was consulted in the request which was formally submitted through His Excellency Governor Eugene Holiday. Additionally, military assistance will serve to support our local law enforcement officers, who have all been working diligently to maintain a strong presence throughout our districts and enforcing compliance of the lock down measures. The additional assistance will also help to bolster current efforts by our local police force in maintaining a “zero-tolerance” approach to those who show blatant disregard for the lock down regulations. Under the current measures and amidst this global public health crisis, congregations of people in large groups as well as driving on the public road without authorization on lock down days will not be tolerated. Those in violation will be dealt with according to the law.
Minister Richardson expressed her appreciation on behalf of the Council of Ministers (COM) and the people of Sint Maarten, to all those involved in supporting the request for assistance, in particular the Dutch Minister of Defence Ank Bijleveld. The Minister took the opportunity to thank the officers who came to assist our country during this very challenging time, and applaud the efforts of law enforcement every day, while understanding their civic duties to continue making the best out of our current situation.