One dozen New Custom officers take oath.
Some Twelve new customs officers took the oath of office at the Government Administration Building on Friday, April 22nd in the presence of Honorable Minister of Justice Anna E. Richardson. It was a symbolic ceremony held to mark the occasion. This is the first group of cadets to have completed their training course which was carried out by the customs department under the directives of Minister Richardson.
The emblematic ceremony was attended by deputy Prime Minister Egbert Doran, Customs St. Maarten Management Team, Department Heads within the Ministry of Justice, Chief Prosecutor Hieke Buist, fellow colleagues, relatives, and friends of the cadets… The ceremony began with the cadets marching from Postal Services St. Maarten towards the entrance of the Government Administration Building where they were then inspected by Deputy Prime Minister Doran and Minister of Justice Anna Richardson.
During the ceremony, Minister Richardson addressed the cadets expressing her profound gratitude for their decision to join the Justice Chain… in the interest of safeguarding the country from harmful goods, drugs or weapons intended to enter the border. “You have a challenging journey ahead which you have been duly prepared for. Challenges where your integrity and call for duty will be greatly tested. Nonetheless, I encourage you to never stop learning and to lean on each other and your management team during challenging times.
Customs St. Maarten Management Team Member, Mr. Franklin Bernadina confirmed that this was the first time the Customs Department had carried out its own recruitment; organized and executed its own training Program from start to finish. The Justice Minister who also appeared on the 12 O’clock talk show, “View Point” with Wendell Moore was asked if there’s a reason why some Police, Customs and Immigration officers often get themselves into trouble with the law involving corrupt behavior; The minister defended her team throughout the Justice chain, but acknowledged while she can’t be sure why some people would engage in wrong doings, there will always be bad cops everywhere you go in the world. She also alluded to the morals in the justice chain as being good of late, and a lot of the expected changes from her ministry will now be enforced and experienced by the general public.
As for the new customs officers, they were encouraged to reflect on the words of their oath which they have taken and be reminded that if they abide by these rules, their integrity would never be questioned. After the oath was read by Mr. Bernadina, the 12 cadets were then presented with their certificates and thereafter sworn in as Customs Officers and civil servants within the Government of St. Maarten by Minister Richardson.