Basseterre, St. Kitts, September 20, 2019 (RSCNPF): A contingent of well-trained Police Officers left the Federation on Friday, September 20, for The Commonwealth of the Bahamas to assist with security and recovery efforts.
The contingent is being led by Sergeant Ray Gordon and also includes Officers Chad Cuffy, Otis Stevens and Victor Nicholas. Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) with responsibility for Operations, Adolph Adams, was pleased to note that they willingly volunteered to travel when approached about the effort. He added that the team comprised Officers trained by the Regional Security System (RSS) in areas such as disaster management and Officers who had experience in community policing.
“It is always heart-warming to see persons ready and willing to help others in their time of need. The people of The Bahamas on a whole have been having a rough time and our brothers and sisters in the Police Force there have not had it easy. So these Officers, and the others from the region, really understand what it means to lend a helping hand when and where you can,” said ACP Adams.
The team forms part of a larger response being coordinated by the RSS among its member states following a request for assistance from the territory which was devastated by Hurricane Dorian. An RSS aircraft transported them to Barbados where all the participating contingents will gather. From there, the Officers will all be taken to The Bahamas.
Acting Commissioner of Police, Hilroy Brandy, was present at the Robert L. Bradshaw International Airport to see them off. He encouraged them to be good ambassadors for the country and the Force. He noted that the security forces in The Bahamas were experiencing stress and fatigue and were not able to see about the recovery of their own homes following the passage of the storm.
“You’re going to the Bahamas to help and to serve and to see to it that the Officers in the Bahamas get some relief to look after their private property while you continue [their duties],” Acting Commissioner Brandy said.
Hurricane Dorian made landfall in The Bahamas as a Category 5 storm on September 01, packing maximum sustained winds of 185 mph. In a Situation Report by the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency, it was noted that Hurricane Dorian made several records and is historic in many ways. It is the strongest Atlantic hurricane documented to directly impact a land mass since records began, tying it with the Labour Day Hurricane of 1935. Hurricane Dorian affected the north-western Bahamas islands for an approximate total of 68 hours, with the southern eye-wall planted over Grand Bahama for about 30 hours. The full extent of the damage is still unknown, and the death toll for the island nation continues to rise.
Alost exactly two years ago, Officers from The Royal St. Christopher and Nevis Police Force participated in a similar exercise when a contingent left the Federation on September 26, 2017 for Dominica after the island was devastated by Hurricane Maria. Officer Cuffy was also a part of that team.