The Royal Saint Lucia Police Force (RSLPF) Thursday received a gift of COVID-19 Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) presented by Taiwan’s Ambassador to Saint Lucia, Peter Chen, on behalf of the Taiwanese American Society in Los Angeles.
“We see it as a crime-fighting tool,” Police Commissioner Milton Desir said of the donation as he expressed ‘heartfelt gratitude’ for the gift at the handing-over ceremony.
“As you know the frontliners – we must make use of this equipment. It has become one of the tools of policing because, on the frontline, we need to protect ourselves and protect others,” Desir explained.
“I am just appealing to members of the public to do likewise, protect yourself, use the equipment available and things may be better,” Desir explained.
He asserted that Saint Lucia could only see a decrease in the spread of COVID-19 if the country was prepared to fight the virus.
“If we allow ourselves just to be lackadaisical, probably we may contract the virus,” the Police Commissioner declared.
Earlier the Taiwanese Ambassador recalled that his country has been very supportive of the RSLPF.
Chen said one of the first public ceremonies he attended when he assumed office as the Ambassador here was the donation of 10,000 face masks to the police and firefighters.
In addition, the Taiwanese diplomat noted that in 2019 Taiwan held an international forum on police cooperation which Mr. Milton Desir attended on Saint Lucia’s behalf.
Chen also observed that police officers here have benefitted from scholarships to study science and technology in Taiwan. He said this has proved helpful in combatting crime as the beneficiaries have returned home to offer better service and protection to Saint Lucians.
On the other hand, the Taiwanese diplomat told the handing-over ceremony that Taiwan had a deep appreciation for this country’s support for Taiwan’s bid at the International Criminal Police Organization (INTERPOL).
The Republic of China, the official name of Taiwan, joined Interpol in 1961, but was forced to withdraw due to the arrival of China in 1984.
China regards Taiwan as a rebel region that must be reunited with the mainland – by force if necessary.
Ambassador Chen asserted that when Taiwan faces injustice and political interference in INTERPOL participation, Saint Lucia has never failed to stand out and speak up.
“The fact that Taiwan is restricted from acquiring Interpol data not only poses a criminal loophole but also causes hazard to Taiwan,” Chen explained.
He declared that dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic is like coping with crime which must be met with collective action.
“Today, we witness the strong cooperation of public and private sectors. I truly believe this is just a beginning and more fruitful cooperation will be coming,” Cheng stated.