Police officers recognised for hard work during Hurricanes Irma, Maria

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Twenty-one police officers received the Regional Security System (RSS) Medal yesterday for outstanding service as members of the RSS contingent in the aftermath of the devastation of Hurricanes Irma and Maria which struck in September 2017.

The investiture ceremony for these policemen and women took place at Government House yesterday.

In the presence of the awardees, their family, friends and fellow members of the Royal Police Force of Antigua and Barbuda, Governor General Sir Rodney Williams told attendees that the contribution of the awardees should be celebrated.

“We take time to acknowledge the significant contribution made by our brave officers at the regional level.

“At this special ceremony we pause to recognise the service rendered by officers in the Royal Police Force of Antigua and Barbuda to the islands of Barbuda and the Commonwealth of Dominica in the aftermath of the deadly hurricanes, Irma and Maria, which wreaked havoc in 2017,” Sir Rodney said.

The Governor General noted that during disaster periods, the work of law enforcement officers become increasingly valuable.

“We give God thanks for men and women who are willing to risk their lives and forego their personal comforts to assist the victims of disaster, natural or otherwise.

“Unfortunately, even in the worst of times, there are elements in our society who will take advantage of the vulnerable and the uncertainties which exist after a disaster.

“It therefore requires, more often than not, the introduction of specially trained personnel to assist in the orderly distribution of relief supplies, the maintenance of law and order and the rebuilding process,” the Governor General said.

Additionally, Attorney General and Minister responsible for Public Safety, Steadroy Benjamin also congratulated the officers.

“After Irma and Maria, how bold you were who so selflessly went out there in the perils, in the darkness, in the disease-stricken areas just to offer h­elp to our fellow men in the sub-region.

“On behalf of my government and my Prime Minister, you have demonstrated what it is to be true Antiguan and Barbudan in the Royal Police Force of Antigua and Barbuda,” Benjamin said, adding that he was extremely proud of them.

Meanwhile, Acting Police Commissioner, Atlee Rodney—who was also one of the awardees —stated that being recognised for efforts was humbling.

He added that the awardees were extremely happy to receive their medals in the presence of many government and top police officials, including the Governor General, Attorney General and Police Service Commission Chairman, and with their friends and family.

According to the

citation for the award, the “officers demonstrated professionalism, commitment, humanitarianism, compassion and support in the performance of their duties despite the conditions. Their efforts and abilities were critical in the Regional Security System contingent’s ability to complete missions.

“Their total dedication to duty reflected great credit and was in keeping with the highest traditions of the Royal Police Force of Antigua and Barbuda and the Regional Security System.”

The twenty-one recipients of the Regional Security System Medal for Outstanding Meritorious Service were Acting Commissioner of Police Atlee Rodney, Staff Sergeant Lelieth Joseph, Corporal Michael Henderson, Corporal Randolph Moses, Corporal Conrad Anthony, Constable Leroy Jeffrey, Constable Randy Harris, Constable Cosmos Richardson, Constable Anestine Massicot, Constable Sean Bretney, Constable Zamfir Carr, Staff Sergeant Claude Elvin, Corporal Amelia Browne, Corporal Yohann Johnson, Corporal Robertson Joseph, Corporal Diana Hector, Corporal Shem Prince, Constable Jermaine Gordon, Constable Nikolai King, Constable Shelton Roberts and Constable Othneil Martin. (Robert A. Emmanuel)

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