BASSETERRE: Merclyn Hughes has made history by becoming the Royal St. Christopher and Nevis Police Force’s first female Superintendent of Police and the first female head of the Strategic Intelligence Unit (SIU), formerly Special Branch.
Hughes has a Certificate in Public Administration from the University of the West Indies. She became a member of the Royal St. Christopher and Nevis Police Force on December 1, 1979 and has worked in a supervisory role for the last 15 years.
“Over the years I’ve worked in several departments/sections within the police force including traffic, telecommunications, the criminal record office, airport security, fire and rescue services, training academy, court and process, beat and patrol/remand, divisional officer personal assistant,” said Hughes. “However, most of my tenure has been with the formerly known Special Branch Department now called the Strategic Intelligence Unit.”
In 2007, Hughes was seconded for four months at the Regional Intelligence Fusion Centre (RIFC) in Trinidad & Tobago as a Liaison Officer during the West Indies hosting of the Cricket World Cup.
“My responsibilities included supervising the information coming in and going out of the Centre and liaising with law enforcement agencies within the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS),” she said. “Also within the Centre were representatives from the international participating countries as well as INTERPOL. The Centre was conceptualized as a means to ensure that information flowed in a timely manner throughout the regional and international law enforcement communities.”
In addition to Hughes’ policing activities, she is a founding member of the AWANA Boys/Girls Club at the Grace Gospel Hall, Middle Island, her home church.
“The club is in its fourth year and has an attendance of nearly 100 youths ranging from ages 4 to 15,” said Hughes. “Although it is spiritually driven, the youngsters are taught among other things conflict resolution, team building and leadership skills.
“I am also a founding member of a group within our church called Women of Purpose which has a strong outreach program in the community. Currently, I am a board member on the Credit Committee of the Police Cooperative Credit Union.”