By Latrishka Thomas
The Regional Security System (RSS) began its two-day meeting yesterday with security chiefs from across the region discussing a variety of topics of concern to the security of the region.
In an interview with the executive director of the RSS, Captain Errington Shurlund, it was disclosed that the Bahamian government has requested that officers be sent to assist with hurricane relief efforts presently underway in the northern Bahamas.
Shurlund told OBSERVER media that Antigua and Barbuda has already volunteered to deploy some officers.
“What I can safely say is that the government of Antigua and Barbuda, through the Honourable Steadroy Benjamin, the Attorney General, would have communicated very early of their willingness to participate in the deployment to the Bahamas. We will have a discussion amongst the other member states, and we intend to deploy towards the end of next week for maybe a two- or three-week period,” he said.
The deployment of officers, however, was only one of many subjects discussed at the RSS high-level meeting.
According to Shurland, “One of our primary objectives is that we build capacity; hence we seek to look at the needs, specifically the training needs, not only of Antigua and Barbuda, but of all our seven member states, to see what are those fundamentals that we need to address. That was a fairly in-depth study, so we are going to analyse that report and agree on an approach going forward so that we meet the needs of the member states.
“We will also look at the vetting policy so that a constable is vetted at the same level across all the RSS member states,” he added.
This is the second RSS meeting being held this year among military and police chiefs, and permanent secretaries for national security agencies, across seven member states: Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Dominica, Grenada, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines.
Two of the officials present at the meeting on behalf of Antigua and Barbuda were Acting Commissioner of Police Atlee Rodney, and Colonel Sir Trevor Thomas, the Chief of Defense Staff for Antigua and Barbuda.