Congratulations to the Royal Saint Lucia Special Reserve Unit and, by extension, the Royal Saint Lucia Police Force, on the celebration of its 61st anniversary!
On behalf of the Commissioner of Police, Mr. Severin Monchery LLB Hon, and Assistant Commissioner Police, Frances Henry in charge of the Special Reserve Unit, I take this opportunity to congratulate all officers and members of the unit on the attainment of its 61st anniversary.
The theme for the 61st anniversary is the same as that of the police, viz: ‘Community Policing Begins With Me’.
I, as a member of the community, have to play a significant role in forming partnerships with the police in helping to solve the upsurge of crime in our community and, by extension, our society. Hence, each of us should be our brother’s keeper, and the theme ‘Community Policing Begins With Me,’ is most appropriate.
At this point it is worth looking at a brief history of the unit. The Royal Saint Lucia Special Reserve Unit was established on September 5, 1956. Twenty-five persons were recruited in that year. The Chief of Police at the time was Mr. David Douglas McGown who left the responsibility to Major Fitzgerald York who was also in charge of Her Majesty’s Prisons.
The uniform worn by the recruits at that time was white long-sleeved shirts, black tie, black arm bands and black pants.
In 1963 the strength of the unit grew from twenty-five to fifty officers, under the command of then Chief of Police Mr. Frederick Cannon. Four officers were promoted – two to the rank of sergeant and two to the rank of corporal.
The unit grew from strength to strength and by 1972-73 its structure was as follows: Assistant Commissioner – Kenneth Ishmael, Superintendents – Oliver Smokey Charles and Marlon Granderson, Assistant Superintendents – Stanley Arnold, Reginald James Dudley, Kenneth Morgan, Martin Carasco, Inspectors – Gregory Mathurin, Carl Marshall, Russel Lake, Raymond Louisy, Earl Francis, Marcus Edward, Bushel, James Archibald and Lambert Samson. There were three station sergeants, six sergeants and eight corporals. There was a total membership of 139.
By 1995 Commissioner Hemingway had retired almost the entire High Command of the unit leaving Assistant Superintendent of Police Mr. Kenneth Morgan in command. It was suggested that Morgan be promoted to the rank of superintendent, with Inspector Earl Francis and Inspector Gerald Cyril to the rank of assistant superintendent. That never materialized.
By 1999 the unit was dormant. In 2007, after consulting with the then Commissioner Broughton, there was a little light in the tunnel. Sergeant Victor Dudley was promoted to inspector, and Corporal Hippolyte to sergeant.
By 2010, under the command of Commissioner Vernon Francois, the unit was back on its feet again. It developed a structure as follows: one superintendent, two assistant superintendents, three inspectors, four sergeants, four corporals and seventy-five constables.
Before concluding, it is worth noting that the Special Reserve Unit is a supplemental body of the Royal Saint Lucia Police Force and falls directly under the purview of the Commissioner of Police. Officers in the Special Resrve Unit are entitled to the same powers and privileges as the regular police.
Finally, may I, #SRP 48, offer my sincerest congratulations to all the officers and members of the Special Reserve Unit on the celebration of their 61st birthday. May the Good Lord bless and keep them!