November 20, 2023 -PORT ST. MAARTEN – The Ministry of Justice proudly announces the success of its first annual Open House held at the AC Wathey Cruise Harbor facility in Port St. Maarten on Saturday, November 18, 2023.
The outdoor event marked a significant occasion to showcase the dedication and hard work of justice professionals across various sectors of the justice chain, as well as others partners, illustrating their collective efforts in enhancing justice and security for St. Maarten.
Honorable Minister of Justice, Anna E Richardson, expressed her profound gratitude during the opening remarks, stating, “This event marked a triumphant opportunity for us to open our doors and showcase the dedication and hard work of the various sectors that contribute to the justice and security of our beloved St. Maarten.”
The Justice Ministry extends heartfelt gratitude to the Dutch Caribbean Coast Guard (DCCG), Immigration & Border Protection Services (IBPS), Customs, Police Force of St. Maarten (KPSM), National Detectives, Prison & House of Detention, Dutch Marines, Royal Marechaussee (KMAR), Vrijwilliger Korps St. Maarten (VKS), St. Maarten Youth Brigade, Fire Department, and Windward Islands Emergency Medical Services (WIEMS), for their commendable collaboration and commitment to a shared mission.
Special acknowledgment was given to Port St. Maarten Group of Companies for its support, without which this event could not have been as successful. Gratitude was extended to the Dutch Caribbean Coast Guard (DCCG), the organizing committee of the Open House, and all the hardworking professionals who volunteered their time to organize an exceptional Open House.
The day-long event provided the community with an up-close view of the sectors dedicated to maintaining law and order on St. Maarten. Attendees witnessed land and sea demonstrations throughout the day, showcasing the skills of various departments. KPSM kicked off the demonstrations with a scenario involving a traffic accident, illustrating their response procedures. The Fire Department displayed their crane truck lifting a vehicle, emphasizing the risks of unsafe repairs, and demonstrated the use of the jaws of life in a car wreck rescue.
The Coast Guard and Dutch Marines collaborated on a joint demonstration, covering water rescue and apprehension at sea. The Coast Guard’s Dash 8 airplane also performed fly-bys, highlighting its role in border control and combating human trafficking and smuggling. The St. Maarten Youth Brigade showcased marching, formation, drum band, and tent pitching skills. The day concluded with a demonstration by VKS, illustrating their techniques for managing public disturbances and riots. All demonstrations were well-received by attendees.
Besides enjoying the exciting demonstrations, attendees also had the opportunity to check out different booths featuring equipment that law enforcement professionals use in the execution of their functions. The Dutch Marines’ vehicles and the Coast Guard ship were especially popular attractions. The Open House had something for everyone, young and old. Funtopia brought lively entertainment for both kids and the young at heart, with activities like face painting, interactive games, and a giant trampoline that was a major hit!
The Justice Open House emphasized community engagement involvement, inviting attendees to interact with the different departments and organizations and meet justice professionals, to gain a deeper understanding of the crucial role each agency plays in safeguarding the community.
Honorable Minister Anna E Richardson concluded, “Let us enjoy this unique occasion, as it is a testament to our commitment to an open and accountable justice system. Your presence here today is valued, and your support is integral to our shared mission of creating a safer and more secure St. Maarten.”