by Kerby Allain
Shervon Matthieu was a big kid with even bigger dreams. Now at the rank of Sergeant (708), Matthieu is making those dreams reality, as he works alongside colleagues in his small CID unit based at the Gros Islet police station.
He joined the Royal St. Lucia Police Force with a singular goal in mind – to help his struggling mother keep a single parent home together.
It was easier said than done, but determination won the day.
“I wanted to get a job to help, but being a bit out of shape, I had to try twice, to join the Force, and finally made it on the third occasion,” he says, recalling the long, punishing early morning jogs and other physically demanding tasks required for passing the training program.
That resolve would serve him later in his career, as he grew to love the profession that had been ‘just a job’ to assist in providing financial support to his household.
His imposing figure earned him the nickname Big Sho (short for Shervon) on entry into the RSLPF. He is now a 13-year member of the island’s law enforcement community, and Mathieu has a desire to be more, and do more, as a police officer.
To this end, he has chosen to reach out to the public in a one-man effort to create a safe environment for citizens to live, work and recreate. Sgt. 708 Shervon has created, mostly through his own efforts, a series of personal safety tips in booklet and video formats for the public.
“I see it as a way of merging the gap between the public and police, showing them there are police officers out there who care.”
This project, dubbed, A Cop Who Cares spawned several initiatives with one objective: to provide St. Lucians with information that would keep them safe in various situations, including dates, ATM visits, and secluded environments.
This first publication in 2017 entitled Personal Safety Tips by Shervon Matthieu, was followed up with a part II in 2018. In this follow-up, Mathieu focused on dealing with armed robberies, Good touch/Bad touch and date rape drugs to name a few.
Shervon’s efforts to demonstrate the caring side of policing, has gained added significance with the current global movement demanding police reform in their interactions with the public. His work as a caring member of law enforcement also demonstrates a different side of policing, with which the public can identify.
“All I’m trying to do is create a positive image of the RSLPF through my drives. I involve everyday citizens to help me spread the message. There are also wonderful cops out there whom I work with on a daily basis, and some of them are in my unit.”
Shervon has received support from the police hierarchy but he has special gratitude for his first two supervisors.
“Inspector Hilary Emmanuel and Sergeant Junior Obeius – if it weren’t for them, I don’t think I would be in this position to help people. They preached that to me every day. I have also received support from the private sector – Janou Credit Union and NLA and of course members of the public who appear in the safety videos.”
The productions have received wide public acceptance, and acclaim from those who recognize the value of the messages in the videos.
Shervon too has recognized that the videos have greater appeal to the public, as they vividly depict dangerous situations people can experience, with solutions for prevention and keeping safe.
“The majority of persons are naïve, so it is vital that we, as peace and enforcement officers, impart some of our knowledge, so that the public is proactive, rather than reactive.”
Sergeant 708 Shervon Matthieu is a cop on a mission to keep St. Lucia’s communities safe, and citizens aware of their surroundings and activities as they go about their daily lives. It is good to know there is a cop who cares on duty.