Law enforcement officials who came to offer additional security to the British Virgin Islands after Hurricanes Irma and Maria will officially depart the territory next week.
The last of the officers from the Cayman Islands and Bermuda were treated to an in-house luncheon earlier this week by Commissioner of Police Michael Matthews and the Royal Virgin Islands Police Force.
Addressing the gathering, Matthews commended the external officers for deciding to remain on duty during the Christmas holidays as well as their overall contribution towards the local force.
“We appreciate the consistent high level of performance we have gotten from officers of your Forces and I have expressed these sentiments to your commissioners directly,” Matthews told external officers.
“For you, especially at a time when you would normally be gathering about the holiday tables filled with goodies, we particularly appreciate your sacrifice. Because you were here, many of our officers could attend to their own lives or take a break from the scenery off the island.”
According to a police release, both constabularies agreed to send officers past the planned period to boost the firearm response and bolster patrols during the recent holiday season.
Happy to serve Inspector Loxley Solomon, who headed the Tactical Firearm Unit of the Royal Cayman Islands Police Service (RCIPS) expressed his gratitude in being able to contribute to the BVI during their time of need.
Solomon, a 25-year veteran, shared his own experiences when Hurricane Ivan hit Grand Cayman.
At the time, he was on duty at the main police station in George Town along with his family including a young child. The station took a direct hit by the hurricane.
“I will never forget the emotional and physical toll it took on me and my family. It is difficult to expect officers with the demands of this type of profession to function with any efficiency without a break.
I was happy to provide that needed break.” He volunteered to remain on the island for two tours of duty.
Another RCIPS constable, Brian Marshall who was also serving his second round said: “I made some very good friends among the officers of the force here and was happy for the opportunity to return. I appreciate the officers’ and public’s efforts to remain positive despite the destruction.”
External officer have been responsible for a number of crime-related busts during their time in the territory.
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