Justice Week St. Maarten closes with official ceremony

PHILIPSBURG--Prime Minister Leona Romeo-Marlin addressed the audience gathered in front of the Government Administration Building for the celebration of International Justice Day on Sunday.
The day marked also the closing of the Justice Week activities that started on Thursday. The week’s events were cut down to four days because of financial constraints.
Uniformed services participated in a Philipsburg march while justice officials and invited guests looked on.
“International Justice Day is celebrated around the world annually on July 17. On St. Maarten, the Ministry of Justice has chosen to join in the celebration of this day [July15 – Ed.]. I would like to wish the Minister of Justice and all the men and women that serve this important Ministry ‘Happy International Justice Day.’ Today is your day and we are here to celebrate it with you.
“St. Maarten Stands Strong, Justice for All” is a fitting theme, as the Ministry of Justice is responsible for maintaining public order, safety, security and protecting both residents and visitors on St. Maarten. As a highly-sought-after tourism destination, your service to this country is immeasurable, “ stated Marlin in her address.
She said prison guards, police, Customs, Immigration and Border Protection, National Detectives, the Financial Intelligence Unit MOT, Coast Guard, Court of Guardianship, Prosecutor’s Office, Judicial Affairs and the Joint Court of Justice are all entities that form part of the Ministry of Justice.
“Usually, when we think of Justice we think of the police department, but the true Justice Ambassadors of St. Maarten are our Immigration Officers who are the first point of contact at our airport. If our guests are treated properly upon entry to our country, that positive experience can set the tone for a wonderful vacation and thus lead to return visitors and the eventual growth of our economy.
“So, to the Immigration officers I want to encourage you to maintain a high level of customer service, as you are representing our country when you occupy that booth.
“During the recently held Disaster Conference in May, Chief Commissioner of Police Carl John shared a presentation that put into context the amount of work that the police department has done since the passing of the hurricanes last year.
“We cannot take for granted the work and time spent away from family that each of you sacrifice as you commit to maintaining public order in the midst of large events such as the Heineken Regatta, Carnival parades and J’ouvert Morning. When everyone is running away from danger your job is to run towards it; for that you must be commended,” stated Marlin.
She also recognised the support from the Netherlands policemen and -women who continue to be visible since the hurricanes last year.
“Your contributions are essential to maintaining safety and security on our island and your efforts have not gone unnoticed. Recently in Paris at the Q4 meetings, I had the pleasure of being a part of agreements that will continue to foster the cooperation between the French and Dutch sides of the island, with respect to border protection, immigration and policing.
“As Prime Minister, I remain committed to the establishing of meaningful cooperation between both sides in all areas where possible. I want to encourage the brave men and women of the Ministry of Justice that put their lives on the line daily. I would like to remind you to uplift the principles of integrity, and protect and serve your community, as this is also the place where you reside,” stated Marlin on Sunday.
The Daily Herald

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