The police union NAPB BES is not amused with the news that former Chief of the National Police of the Netherlands Gerard Bouman will be doing an advisory job for the Police Force of the Caribbean Netherlands KPCN. The union sent a letter to Minister of Security and Justice Ard van der Steur on Friday in which it called for a review of the decision.
According to union chairman Charles Mercelina, Bouman is not the right person to give advice to the Caribbean Netherlands Police. “The remarks he made about our colleagues in St. Maarten are still fresh in our memory,” said Mercelina.
Mid last year, Bouman said he did not want to cooperate with the Police on St. Maarten, because the force would be corrupt.
NAPB BES is fearful that Bouman will be looking at KPCN from a Dutch point of view and will have little eye for what is deemed important for the islands Bonaire, St. Eustatius and Saba.
“In the Caribbean there are sufficient experts capable of drafting a good evaluation of the corps,” it is stated in the letter. “But again a Dutchman is being sent.”
“In the Netherlands they keep forgetting that it took them 30 years [to form a national police force – Ed], yet they’re expecting from us to get everything in order within five years,” Mercelina added.
Because the reorganisation of the Police in the Netherlands under Bouman’s leadership was not without problems, the union is under the impression it is being fobbed off.
In case the Minister of Security and Justice will not reverse his decision, the union wants to call upon its partners not to cooperate with Bouman. “The feeling is: we cannot achieve anything with him,” said Mercelina.
In the meantime, it has become clear that Bouman will be travelling to the Caribbean Netherlands. “We will see which steps we’re still able to take. We will not accept this decision just like that,” the union chairman said.
Bouman resigned as National Police Chief as per February 1. He was among other duties responsible for the reorganisation of 26 police units into one national force. Bouman is to remain in service with the Dutch Police for 21 months. During this period, he will look for another job and carry out temporary duties, among which advisory work. He will keep his annual salary, which amounts to approximately 185,000 euros.
The Daily Herald.