Two Police Officers who distinguished themselves within the Royal Grenada Police Force (RGPF) were honoured with a toast that was led by Inspector Raymond Matthew, and serenaded by Police Constable Langdon during a retirement ceremony that was held for them last week Wednesday.
Inspector #27 Eustace St. Bernard and Woman/Corporal #63 Pauline Stewart were treated with Royalty during a retirement ceremony that was hosted in their honour by the Department of Port Security of RGPF at the Burns Point Welcome Centre as they bade farewell to the force after collectively giving just about 70 years of service.
Commissioner of Police, Willan Thompson who officiated at the ceremony and paid homage to both Police Officers, said while it is felt that the job of a Police Officer is an easy one, the two retiring officers made the ultimate sacrifice as dedicated members of RGPF.
The island’s top Cop stated that although Insp. St. Bernard and Cpl. Stewart
are saying farewell to RGPF he is not certain that their umbilical cord has been cut from the Force because a Police Officer should continue to remain a Police Officer until death.
“I want to wish you both a very lengthy, healthy, rewarding and prosperous retirement,” he told the two retirees.
“Stay healthy, stay focused, enjoy your retirement,” he added.
Both retires were last posted at the Port Police Station in St. George’s.
Officer in charge of the Port Police Station, Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) Glen Paul who also addressed the ceremony indicated that Insp. St. Bernard and Cpl. Stewart have given yeoman service to the nation and to the RGPF and have now begun the transitory life from military to civilian.
ASP Paul commended them for “giving so much of their lives” in service to the nation.
Insp. St. Bernard was enlisted into the RGPF on November 19, 1973, and received his initial training at the True Blue Police Training Campus
He served at a number of Police Stations around the island, as well as with the Criminal Investigation Department (CID), the Regional Security Services for six months, and at the Special Services Unit (SSU) for ten years.
In 1985, he rose to the rank of Corporal, Sergeant of Police in 1987, and became an Inspector in 1990.
The retired Police Inspector served as Aide-d-camp to Governor Generals Sir Reginald Palmer, and Sir Daniel Williams and during his long career served under 11 Police Commissioners.
The retired Police Inspector was appreciative of the accolades bestowed upon him and felt that the ceremony was well deserving since he believes he has worked hard in the force for 39 years.
In the case of Cpl Stewart, she joined RGPF in March 1984 at the Training School on Fort George as a secretary.
Having a passion to serve her country, she joined the ranks of the Police Force and took advantage of the first available opportunity in the training academy on September 15, 1984.
Upon completion of her training, the female Police Officer was posted at the Central Police Station and at one time served as the lone female Officer at the Carriacou Police Station for a period of three years.
She moved up to the rank of Corporal in 1991, and in that same year received the coveted award of Female Police Officer of the year.
The Female Corporal who beamed with excitement spoke of taking the opportunity to participate in almost every activity of RGPF.
She said apart from being with the Police Choir, she was brave enough to take part in the Police Queen Show in 1991.
The ceremony also recognised nine Police Officers who are attached to the Port Police Station for “their outstanding performance.”
ASP Paul who took duties as the Officer in charge earlier this year said the experience has shown him, first hand, that port security is not an easy task.
He said despite the many challenges including the physical environment, the Officers are never daunted in their desire to work with the mandate of the job at hand.
“Each one of us attached to the Port Police Station is equally important as any other Officer, no matter where he is stationed within the Royal Grenada Police Force,” he said.
According to the Senior Police Officer the job of port security cannot be underestimated since they are the vanguards of the economy.
“In our own unique way, we celebrate our achievements, we celebrate our work, we celebrate what makes us so distinct from members of the Police Force,” he said.
One of the Police Officers awarded is Rural Constable Tahera Philbert.
As a result of her alertness in the line of duty earlier this year, Philbert was able to arrest someone who was carrying over three pounds of marijuana that was intended to be shipped out through the port.