The Royal Virgin Islands Police Force is aiming to be back to full strength by the year 2020; while its headquarters is expected to be fully completed in the next few months.
This is according to Commissioner of Police Michael Matthews who said the addition of a few more officers will complete the goal of the law enforcement agency.
“At the moment, we have an establishment of 260 regular officers and 23 auxiliary officers on top of that and around about 40 civilian staff. So, it’s quite a big organisation. We’re not up to strength yet so we have vacancies in the regular force,” Commissioner Matthews said while speaking on public radio recently.
He added: “If all things go according to plan, we will take another 15 [officers] next year and full strength will be 275 regular officers, plus those other numbers of auxiliaries and civilian staff.
The top cop also said he and a cohort of his workers will soon move from their temporary location at the RiteWay building in Pasea Estate back to their police headquarters at the Sir Olva Georges Plaza in Road Town.
They had moved to the RiteWay building when the plaza was severely damaged by the September 2017 hurricanes.
“I was actually looking at the floor plan of our police headquarters and it’s been finished. They are ready to hand the keys back to us so that is building done … The telephony, the IT, the furnishings have got to go in, but we’re optimistic that we will be in there by September,” Matthews stated.
He also said the Force has taken the opportunity to modernise their radio communications over the last 18 months.
“The radio mast — it has been replaced. We’ve kind of modernised that … so a lot of receivers, transponders, repeaters have been fitted out across the islands now. And by the time we finish that piece of work, our coverage should be actually a whole lot better than it ever was, including coverage with the other emergency services such as the Department of Disaster Management, the Ports Authority, Customs and Immigration — all being able to speak to each other on the airways.”
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