A senior police officer commenting on a recent viral incident at Hospital Road Castries where some residents confronted the police, has commended the officers’ restraint while assuring the public that the Royal Saint Lucia Police Force (RSLPF) will press on.
“I just want to commend the officers and tell them they should never retreat and to assure the public that there will never be a no-go zone for any police officer in Saint Lucia,” Deputy Police Commissioner (DCP) Ronald Phillip said this week.
Phillip was Shannon Lebourne’s guest on the Hot 7 Television show Good Morning Saint Lucia.
He observed that the Hospital Road incident could have easily escalated.
However, the senior cop observed that no one was hurt.
Since the Hospital Road disturbance, Donnie Jordon Charlemagne appeared in court charged with resisting arrest, two counts of assault, property damage, and using obscene language.
The court granted bail with reporting conditions.
DCP Phillip explained that in executing their lawful duties, the police could ‘match force with force.’
He assured police officers that the RSLPF executive would stand with them once they act professionally and legally.
“That is not an excuse for errant or deviant behaviour,” Phillip warned.
At the same time, he observed that if people have an issue with how the police act, they can take their grievances to the Police Complaints Commission.
But he warned that the police would not tolerate people taking the law into their own hands or assaulting officers.
“I do not want any officer to tolerate any form of disrespect or any form of abuse,” Phillip declared.
“We have also spoken with the policy makers – the powers that be, and they have assured us that they are going to support the police, continuously support the police. All they have asked is that we remain professional and we do not engage in deviant behaviour,” he told Good Morning Saint Lucia.
In addition, he urged law-abiding citizens, civil society, and human rights individuals to speak out against lawless behaviour.
“This is not just a policing issue. If you have a situation where citizens are turning against your police officers, you bet they will turn against you at some point,” Philip asserted.
As a result, he observed that society has to be very careful regarding what it accepts and condones.