ST. GEORGE’S, Grenada: Prime Minister Tillman Thomas has welcomed the setting up of a Virtual Training Institute by the Regional Security System (RSS) to ensure the promotion of best practices, standardize training material and to coordinate training for RSS members.
Speaking at the opening ceremony of the inaugural meeting of the Practice Education Committee of the RSS Institute, Thomas said he hoped the Institute’s programs will examine new concepts that will encourage “new attitudes and behaviours” to strengthen the relationship between the police and the community.
“It is quite obvious that law enforcement agencies, on their own, are unable to successfully fight crime, particularly in light of budget constraints. It is therefore crucial that your agencies improve the involvement of the community in supporting that fight,” he said.
Thomas said the Virtual Training Institute is also crucial to the region at this time of reduced international funding for training, an increase in trans-shipment of drugs to the region and the impact of the “unfortunate” United States policy of deporting to the Caribbean people of Caribbean origin who are convicted of criminal activities in the U.S.
He called on U.S. authorities to “review this practice”, with a view to ending the policy or to provide the requisite financial and institutional support to assist regional countries to cope.
Thomas also called for a re-engagement of the systems that strengthen the exchange of information among law enforcement agencies in the region, improve the protection of borders and track people known to be involved in illegal activity.
He said that trade in illicit drugs has provided an environment in which “unlawful elements use their ill-gotten gains to create false hope in some communities, purchase power and build influence, to the detriment of our people and our islands”, adding that “the challenges are many, and collectively they continue to significantly impact the security environment in the region”.