Carl John confirmed as new Police Chief

PHILIPSBURG--St. Maarten soon will have a new police chief. The new top cop will come directly from the ranks of the Police Force and has widespread support from fellow ranks.
 
Police Commissioner Carl John had been tipped since last year as the replacement of current Police Chief Peter de Witte. However, the process to appoint him has been drawn out.
 
Justice Minister Dennis Richardson announced in Parliament Wednesday that the Council of Ministers had approved John’s appointment. The next step is the issuance of a national decree making the appointment complete.
 
“We will have a new police chief in the very near future,” Richardson said. “There are just some technicalities to clear up.”
 
In the meantime, 200 bulletproof vests have been ordered for the Police Force and should arrive in the country “in a few days,” the minister told Members of Parliament (MPs). When the vests are received, they will have to be tailored to the individual officers for maximum protection and coverage.
 
The need for new vests was brought into focus more than a month ago when a young police officer on bike patrol was gunned down on Front Street in broad daylight. Officer Gamali Benjamin became the first officer to be killed in the line of duty.
 
The killing of Officer Benjamin and a string of robberies carried out by robbers who escape on scooters and bikes have led the Justice Ministry to formulate a decree “to limit access” to Philipsburg by bikes and scooters. That decree is still being fine-tuned.
 
The Daily Herald 

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