Philipsburg:--- The fruits of the labour of Chief Inspector Carl John will soon be seen as the trainers for the bicycle patrol are already here. John and police coach Ronald Dongor had travelled to Suriname last year to see and learn about the bicycle patrol, which is operational in that country.
At a press conference on Wednesday, the three trainers who arrived on the island gave reporters an insight of the bicycle patrol, which is to be launched here in two weeks time. Assistant Chief Commissioner of Police Ademar Doran told reporters that the one-week training will begin on August 10 and the project will be launched one week later. Doran said the project has been initiated about a year ago when John and Dongor went to familiarize themselves with the project.
SMN News has been reliably informed that John has been writing all the projects for the police force, including the recruitment drive that is presently underway, the chief inspector also wrote the project on acquiring the new vehicles. Unfortunately, even though sitting in the background during the press conference he was not active during the presentation.
One year later, the St. Maarten Police Force is ready to launch this project. Doran said the management team of the police department believes in the biker’s project simply because this project has been successful in several countries. Doran said the KPSSS wants to be proactive and they believe having patrols on bikes would an asset in combating crime on St.Maarten. The idea of using this project Doran said would allow officers to respond a bit faster to any crime scene. He said the traffic situation on the island obstructs them when driving.
The bikers patrol will be in the Philipsburg, Maho, and Mullet Bay and the Airport area when launched. Some ten officers would be participating in the one-week training, six of which will remain on St. Maarten and four are from Statia Doran said. The bicycle patrols Doran said would be working for 16 hours a day in each area.
Trainer Raoul Tersteeg who hails from the Netherlands said when they started the bike team in 2003 with four bikers and today they have grown to 60 because the project has proven to be rather successful there. Tersteeg said three years later Suriname requested assistance from them to start up their bike team, which is now also very successful in Suriname. Among the three trainers on island is Jermaine Elstromp who hails from Suriname he said he is in one of the instructors of the bike team in Paramaribo where he is currently working.
Also addressing the media on Wednesday is Johan de Grout the first instructor from the Netherlands. De Grout said that some seven years ago one of his colleagues was sent to the United States where he was trained as bike patrol. De Grout said he was lucky to be the first person to receive training from his colleague who studied abroad. De Grout said they even received requests from Copenhagen and Denmark as all these countries are now interested in introducing the bike patrols to combat crime. One of the benefits is that officers can now reach closer to the civilians and they can now speak to each other when it comes to solving crimes.
Assistant Chief Commissioner of Police Admar Doran said it has been a few years now they have been focusing on rebuilding and enhancing the police force (KPSSS). He said while the results may not be visible he is happy that after one year they are able to reap the benefits of their labour. Doran said they also have several other projects they are busy working on which he said would be able to comply with the demands of today’s society. Doran promised to unleash some other projects that would take the KPSSS to the next level.