71 New military police to the Dutch Caribbean Latest – St Maarten News


71 New military police to the Dutch Caribbean Latest – St Maarten News

https://stmaartennews.org/71-new-military-police-to-the-dutch-caribbean-latest/

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The Caribbean brigade of the Royal Netherlands Marechaussee will have many new colleagues.

No fewer than 71 in total. They are deployed for the so-called Strengthening Border Control Protocol in Aruba, Curaçao and Sint Maarten.

A first group of more than 30 colleagues has already started this month, in anticipation of the official reorganization that should lead to permanent placements from July 2023.

71 New military police to the Dutch Caribbean Latest
Major Jan Ploegstra, as project leader, is allowed to ensure that everything runs smoothly. He talks about the how and why of this extensive plan. “It’s a project with a lot of impact.”

‘In one fell swoop 71 vacancies’

Protocol Strengthening Border Control, what does that mean?

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“The protocol on strengthening border control in the Caribbean countries of the Kingdom was signed last year by the responsible ministers from the Netherlands and the countries of Aruba, Curaçao and Sint Maarten.

The 3 countries have expressed the wish to cooperate more intensively, including with the KMar, Customs Netherlands and the Caribbean Coast Guard,

in the fight against cross-border crime in order to be better protected.
Think, for example, of tackling human smuggling, human trafficking, drug smuggling and illegal migration.

Each country has drawn up a plan to jointly invest in border control and police service at the airports and surveillance at the maritime border.
There is a strong focus on strengthening the information position, so that you can make the right choice of deployment of people and material.”

The majority of colleagues are seconded for a period of 6 to 12 months.

71 New military police to the Dutch Caribbean Latest
How long is the protocol in effect?

“The protocol has been concluded for 7 years with the possibility of extension.

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The action plans of the countries focus on the first 3 years. In the coming years, therefore, a kind of follow-up plan will be made for the years after. the countries no longer need the help of the KMar after those 7 years.”

What is the current status of the project?

“This month the first colleagues started their work on the basis of the protocol Strengthening Border Control in the relevant 3 Caribbean countries of the Kingdom of the Netherlands.

71 New military police to the Dutch Caribbean ‘Project with impact’ St Maarten
Most of them arrived from the Netherlands a few weeks ago, some were already here. The majority of colleagues are seconded for a period of 6 to 12 months. In addition, some colleagues have already been given a permanent position in anticipation of the reorganisation.

These are crucial functions for the continuity of this project, such as the heads of Operations on Aruba and Curaçao.”
The Caribbean Coast Guard also contributes to border control.
‘I have been able to develop myself enormously here’

What are the functions?

“The new colleagues are mainly used for surveillance at air and maritime borders. Because except for Sint Maarten, the islands have no national borders.

71 New military police to the Dutch Caribbean Latest
It concerns border-related functions in the HEI domain: enforcement, investigation and intelligence.

71 New military police to the Dutch Caribbean ‘Project with impact’ St Maarten
These include investigative officers in border control and in the police service at the airports, intel employees, detectives, colleagues with a focus on training and guidance, managers, analysts and specialists for counterfeit desks to be set up.

Ultimately, 31 jobs will be added on Curaçao, 29 on Aruba and 11 on Sint Maarten.

As KMar, we have been supporting local services in Curaçao and Sint Maarten for some time via the Flexpool KMar protocol, with approximately 20 colleagues per country. In Aruba we are also active from the Flexpool, where 4 colleagues work.

The first line border control is organized differently per country: in Curaçao it is a task of the police, in Aruba it is a separate service Inmigracion Aruba and on Sint Maarten it is the Immigration Border Protection Service.”

It concerns border-related functions in the HEI domain: enforcement, investigation and intelligence.

Now there are 30 additional colleagues. When will the rest come?

“In October 19 colleagues will be added and in January another 8. Then you will have just under 60 FTEs.

We are not going to achieve 71 FTE in the build-up, because certain competencies are now difficult to deliver and because our colleagues are also desperately needed in the Netherlands.

There is a lot of work for our organization at home and abroad, which is why it is important to make well-considered choices where we deploy our people.

Once the reorganization has been completed, after consultation with the employee representation and unions, we hope to realize permanent placements from July 2023.

Hopefully we can publish those vacancies at the end of this year or early next year, so that the selected colleagues have enough time to prepare for their placement abroad.

Then we have 71 vacancies at the Carib brigade in one fell swoop. We regularly have about 15 vacancies every year, so we are faced with the challenge of filling about 85 vacancies in the Caribbean. Those are tough numbers. It is therefore a project with a lot of impact and a great and beautiful challenge.”

‘The countries want us to come and help’

Ultimately, 31 jobs will be added on Curaçao, 29 on Aruba and 11 on Sint Maarten.

So the Caribbean brigade is growing enormously…

71 New military police to the Dutch Caribbean ‘Project with impact’ St Maarten

71 New military police to the Dutch Caribbean Latest
“When I came here for my first position in 1999, we were here with about 15 people. The Caribbean brigade will soon grow to no fewer than 250 people.

That is very much. We will then have about 110 military police who support local services on Aruba, Curaçao and Sint Maarten. That is challenging, but it is also an opportunity for colleagues.

They’re just great positions in a special environment and culture, where our colleagues and local colleagues can learn a lot from each other, and so working well together will really help to strengthen border control.

As mentioned, 29 Marechaussees will be added to Aruba, which is of course a major change for the country of Aruba and also for our organization. We will have to get used to each other on both sides.

I’ve been to Aruba a lot lately, as well as the past 2 weeks with the start-up of our first colleagues. When I notice how much support there is for the work of the KMar,

how pleasant people in the services interact with each other, then I am convinced that it will be a success and that we as KMar will really support the country of Aruba in a good way.

That conviction is absolutely there in the other countries as well.”

What does this protocol mean for the cooperation with chain partners?

“In the run-up to this project, we sat down with all parties involved in border control. We have worked closely together to make this possible: a huge number of people are involved.

A major advantage of this project already is that it has created a stronger focus on a chain approach within the countries of working at the border.

Of course we already worked together, but this preparation has led to an enormous boost in looking at border control as a chain.”
‘The project is coming to life’

What is the atmosphere like around the project?

“We have a good relationship in the workplace with the services we will be supporting. They want us to come and help, so there is a solid foundation for us to get started here.


71 New military police to the Dutch Caribbean ‘Project with impact’ St Maarten

I am very happy that the first people have now really started. The project is coming to life, it is tangible. And now we are going to expand step by step.”

The dynamics here are fantastic and challenging.
‘They are great features’

You have been working in the Caribbean for a while…

“I have worked in Curaçao for 4 years, 3.5 years in the Windward Islands / Sint Maarten and now I am in my last position in Curaçao, until July 2023.

The dynamics here are fantastic and challenging. I have been able to develop enormously, both in my field and on a personal level.

The work is different, the culture, the country. In the collaboration, everything depends on the quality of your personal relationships.

Showing respect, learning from local colleagues, daring to give trust, not judging, continuously focusing on working together, daring to serve:

that is so important and every colleague who works here will develop. If you succeed, you will get an incredible amount in return. Once you connect with the local colleagues around you, you get the best colleagues you could wish for.”

71 New military police to the Dutch Caribbean Latest

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