Charlestown, Nevis (February 14, 2007)
A total of 21 participants, including two police officers received passing grades in the just concluded maritime security training course. The training was conducted from February 8 ““ 13 at the Red Cross Conference Center in Charlestown.
In an interview with General Manager of the Nevis Air and Sea Ports Authority (NASPA), Mr Spencer Hanley on Wednesday February 14, 2007, said part of the training process was theory where at the end of the session, participants were tested.
“We are proud to say we had 100% pass with grades ranging from 70-92%. It was a workshop to develop and train our personnel, our maritime security personnel to meet the international standards in accordance with the International Ship and Port Facility Security (ISPS) Code” he said.
Mr. Hanley explained that during the four day training the officers were exposed a simulation exercise, which is one of the requirements under the ISPS Code whereby ports are required to carry out drills and exercises every 3 months to familiarize officers of the critical procedures in the event of an emergency.A public awareness session which was open to all port users including brokers, ships agents, vessel operators and the general public to sensitize stakeholders to what is expected of them when visiting or conducting business at the port also formed part of the course.
He said that on final day of the training participants were taken on site to the Long Point Port facility for the practical aspect of the training. “It consisted of search techniques for buildings, vehicles and persons. Checking for ID’s of persons entering the ports to ascertain and verify the purpose of visit as well as how to interact with the public.
“”We want our officers to understand how to interact with the public because at the end of the day we are still public servants and we have to serve the public with some pride and dignity and respect”, he said.
Mr. Hanley also disclosed that starting Monday February 19 and continuing until March 2nd 2007 in-house training would continue in customer service, work ethics among other topics.
The Maritime Security Course was funded by the Organisation of American States, (OAS) through its Inter-American Committee against Terrorism (CICTE) using the expertise of HALCROW HPA, a US based Maritime Security team.
Meantime, OAS Representative for St. Kitts and Nevis, Mr Starret Greene said at the opening ceremony on Thursday February 8th, that the Maritime Security Course in Nevis was timely and demonstrated the OAS commitment to working with the Federal Government and Nevis Island Administration.
“This course is most timely in light of the forthcoming prestigious ICC Cricket World Cup 2007 that will commence in just four weeks. With tens of thousands of visitors descending on the shores of this twin-island Federation, it is critical that we be fully prepared to meet any challenge or threat to our security. The OAS, through CICTE continues to work diligently to strengthen commitment and cooperation among countries for comprehensive action to fight terrorism and criminal activities that facilitate terrorism”, he said.
He said the world had become more security conscious by the threat that international terrorism poses to the security, stability, economic development and the livelihood of people everywhere.
Mr Greene added that the Maritime Security training Course served to ensure that all measures were taken, including the strengthening and development of the country’s human capacity, to provide the requisite security needed at ports in the Federation.