Caribbean Netherlands Police Force Officers Express Discontent Over Off-Duty Firearm Prohibition

The site BES-Reporter writes that Officers from the Caribbean Netherlands Police Force (KPCN) are expressing their displeasure regarding a recent “service order” that prohibits them from carrying their service weapons during off-duty hours. Previously, officers were permitted to have their service weapons with them, even in their leisure time, and were authorized to use them if necessary.

The issuance of the service order is closely linked to recent incidents, particularly on the Windward Islands. In one instance on Saba, an apparently intoxicated officer brandished a firearm, causing significant community outrage. A few days later, off-duty officers on St. Eustatius were involved in a street altercation.

The NAPB-BES union has not delved deeply into the matter but has indicated that it does not necessarily endorse the prohibition in advance. Thaise Isidora Lo-A-Njoe, a union representative, emphasized that while there are daily incidents within their corps and neighboring islands, implementing a blanket ban on officers carrying firearms during their free time may not be the most appropriate response. Lo-A-Njoe suggests addressing specific incidents where officers have crossed the line, rather than enforcing a general service order affecting everyone.

The KPCN spokesperson confirmed on Friday afternoon that the service order had been issued. However, they emphasized that it is an internal matter that will be addressed within the Corps itself. Notably, the decision has not been actively communicated to the press by the police leadership.

BES reporter

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