The Royal Saint Lucia Police concluded a four-day Regional Security Services Training course to equip first responders to crime scenes with the necessary tools to secure and manage the area.
Twenty-four police officers successfully completed the course and were presented with their certificates at a ceremony last Thursday, January 24, 2013.
First Responders are the caretakers and decision makers on a scene. Their execution of duty directly affects the robust prosecution of matters before the court.
Facilitator Commander Tyrone James, speaking at the closing ceremony, lamented that throughout the region’s police officers are attaining higher education, but there are not many who pursue course steeped in the core police roles and duties. However, he is proud that within the region, there are experts in crime scene management and processing.
“It is very difficult to find qualified instructors and competent instructors to conduct these sort of courses. And from time to time, when we start speaking about these skill sets, we suddenly begin to look outside of our region for expertise. And when we have major crimes, and many occasions, you will hear the call “Let us bring in the FBI, CIA” and some other letter of the alphabet, but we have here qualified and competent crime scene forensic investigators who we should give the authority, responsibility and opportunity to prove themselves.”
Corporal Marcus Bastien from Saint Lucia is one of the few qualified crime scene investigators in the region. Saint Lucia’s Police Commissioner Vernon Francois, in recognising Corporal Bastien, says the RSLPF has intensified its training objectives, and he is pleased with the certification saying greater emphasis is now being placed on crime scene processing, alleviating the strict reliance on eye witness testimony.
“The area of first responders to crime scenes is particularly important to the Police Department because you are probably aware that in Saint Lucia, we have in place dedicated scenes of crime officers whose job basically is to process crime scenes but it is very important the manner in which the crime scene is handed over to them. The way the crime scene is delivered to them. So it is very important as first responders, as well as police officers who are expected to go to the crime scene, it is important how the crime scene is managed because that will definitely influence the nature of the investigation that is being conducted.”
Police Constable Jeremiah Norbert was the top scorer for this course, attaining 93 percent.
Commander James reminded the gathering that the success of any case starts with the First Responder.