Acting Police Commissioner, Milton Desir, has praised the Marine Police Unit asserting that it is one of the hardest working departments of the Royal Saint Lucia Police Force (RSLPF).
Desir made the comments Friday during a ceremony to mark ‘Tiller Day’, when British Naval Officers handed the Marine Unit over to locals.
Desir was at one time Commander of the Marine Unit.
He declared that persons may not be aware of how hard the Marine Unit works because its members are not often seen.
“But when they are out at sea it is something different than being on land, especially when you could shelter under a house, you could go where you want, you can run, but at sea you cannot do this,” the Acting Police Commissioner noted.
He observed that despite limitations, members of the unit have been able to prove that they can perform ‘at the highest.’
Desir declared that the unit’s successes have not gone unnoticed.
“I know when I was there the RSS and the US embassy were very pleased with the performance of this unit and in fact if I may quote somebody whom I will not mention: ‘If I had the authority I would take some boats from the other Islands and give it to Saint Lucia,'” he stated.
Desir explained that because of the Leahy Law, the United States could not provide resources or training to the Royal Saint Lucia Police Force.
“They realised that even without that, we were able to match and surpass all the other units – so they too were grieving with us for lack of resources and training,” he observed.
The Leahy Law or Leahy amendment is a U.S. human rights law that prohibits the U.S. Department of State and Department of Defense from providing military assistance to foreign military units that violate human rights with impunity.
The United States suspended assistance to Saint Lucia police in 2013 as a result of allegations of gross human rights violations linked to a number of fatal police shootings between 2010 and 2011.
The shootings took place during an anti-crime initiative that was dubbed – Operation Restore Confidence.