May 13, 2005 – St. Croix will see an influx of police personnel next week as top brass from the Caribbean converge on the island to participate in the 20th annual Association of Caribbean Commissioners of Police (ACCP) general meeting and conference. The theme of the conference is "Protecting Our Tourism Product." The conference, which will be held at the Carambola Beach Resort, begins on May 18th and ends on May 24th.
Sgt. Thomas Hannah, police spokesman, said on Friday that over 200 delegates from all over the Caribbean, the United States and Canada are expected to attend. Many will be traveling with their spouses and families. Arrangements are in place to host police commissioners from Bermuda, British Virgin Islands, Bahamas, Cayman Islands, Curacao, Dominica, French Antilles, Guyana, Grenada, Jamaica, Montserrat, Suriname, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Maarten, St. Lucia, St. Vincent, Trinidad and Tobago, Turks and Cacaos Islands, Hannah said.
The invitees are coming together "to enhance their knowledge of tourism, health issues and the environment," Hannah said. He said this conference is the first time the event is on American soil.
On Friday, Keith Renauld, ACCP secretary general arrived in St. Croix. "He is the front-runner," Hannah said. "He makes sure all the preparations are in place." This is Renauld's third visit to St. Croix.
The ACCP began in 1972, in Port of Spain, Trinidad, at the annual conference of regional commissioners. Police agreed that it would be beneficial to meet annually and discuss matters of interest to Caribbean police. After a few false starts, the conference gained momentum and now is an organization that promotes and facilitates the development of policing strategies, professional and technical skills and proactive measures to prevent crime and improve police community relations. This year the emphasis is on tourism, which fuels much of the Caribbean economyCaribbean economy.
Police brass will discuss how to protect tourism so the economy of the islands can grow.
Hannah said, during the conference, awards will be given to Detective Mirett Benta and Raymond Williams, a civilian who is involved in the Weed and Seed program in Estate Grove Place, for their contributions to community policing.
Security is going to be tight at the conference site. "We will have the entire Carambola under tight security," Hannah said. Vehicles entering the premises will be subject to search and only authorized persons will be allowed on the hotel grounds.
But the conference won't be all work and no play, Hannah said. Social and cultural events are scheduled as well as day trips to St. Thomas and St. John.
Hannah said people might wonder why the police department is hosting a conference on tourism. "Tourism is high on the list of priorities for police departments," Hannah said. "We are the first line of defense."
Here is the conference agenda .
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