It was arguably the first debate of its kind in the Caribbean by Law enforcement officers; and the Calliaqua Town Hall was filled to capacity on the evening of Tuesday May 29, 2018 as Police Officers, their families and members of the community and surrounding areas gathered to witness a historic debate where six (6) skilled and well prepared officers debated the question – “Should marijuana be decriminalized for medicinal and recreational use in SVG”. The debate formed part of the various activities for Police Week 2018.
The three (3) Police Officers who debated for decriminalization were Sgt. 490 Shawn Chandler, PC 434 Moise Cummings and AB 496 Desron Dick; they represented Operations, Western Division and Coast Guard respectively; while Sgt. 842 Joanna Holder, Cpl. 67 Trevor Grant and PC 949 Edson Smith debated against decriminalization; they all represented Administration, Eastern Division and Central Division respectively.
At the conclusion of the debate, the esteemed judges who were Hon. Rene Baptiste, Speaker of the House of Assembly, Mr. Cecil “Blazer” Williams, Chairman of the Police and Public Service Commissions and Mrs. Sylvia Jack, a retired educator pronounced AB Desron Dick as the overall winner with a total of 300 points. Second place went to PC Moise Cummings with 291 points and PC 949 Smith took the third position with 258 points. The “FORs” Team was also adjudged the overall winners of the debate.
Commissioner of Police (Ag), Mr. Colin John who was in attendance made brief remarks, highlighting the importance of the event. He stated that being able to debate is a skill that every Police Officer should have, as it possesses practical benefits for the Police, which aids the officer to present and articulate his/her point in a convincing manner. According to the COP John being able to debate effectively is a pivotal factor in the presentations made at court. The Commissioner went on to highlight that he has observed police officers going to court and giving evidence in a manner that is below the standard of competent police officers and stressed that this debate should be looked at as a practical exercise. This exercise he stated helps to enhance the skills and knowledge of police officers and thanked the participants for making the event possible by volunteering. COP John in closing stressed that it is his fervent hope that at the end of the debate, the police would be in a better position to police St Vincent and the Grenadines, in light of the possible changes to the legislation in respect of Marijuana consumption.
The Prizes for the winner are as follows:
1st place - $500, The Commissioner of Police Trophy and a Certificate
2nd place - $300, The Deputy Commissioner of Police Trophy and a Certificate
3rd place - $200, the Assistant Commissioner of Police Trophy and a Certificate
The prizes will be awarded at the prize giving and entertainment ceremony scheduled for Saturday May 02, 2018 at the Police Canteen commencing at 6:00 pm.
The Public is hereby advised that the views expressed at the Police Debate are not the personal views of the debaters and certainly not of the Royal St. Vincent and the Grenadines Police Force. The topic was debated primarily for the sole purpose of Police Week 2108.