(CNS): The last group of RCIPS officers who were sent to the British Virgin Islands to support law enforcement officials there in the wake of Hurricanes Irma and Maria last September came home this week. The return of the seven officers, who remained in BVI over the holiday period, marks the end of the RCIPS deployments to the territory after providing the much needed security support and humanitarian assistance as the islands re-stabilised and began the recovery process. Five contingents, totalling 62 RCIPS officers, were deployed to the BVI between 9 September and 18 January.
“It was an honour to be able to help the people of our sister territory restore their sense of normalcy after these hurricanes,” said Acting Inspector Loxley Solomon, who was the commander for this deployment. “Although it meant being away from our families over the holidays, we knew this was an opportunity for us to demonstrate our values as police officers and citizens. I also want to acknowledge our families who supported our decisions to volunteer for this mission.”
The RCIPS had originally been asked to provide reinforcements for three months in order to support the local police in the wake of Hurricane Irma but the islands were then hit by Hurricane Maria. Over that first three month period three deployments of 16 officers were dispatched. When a request was made for further coverage into January, two additional deployments of seven officers were sent to provide firearms and tactical support.
“We are extremely proud that we were able to provide humanitarian hurricane relief and added security to the British Virgin Islands. This was due in no small part to the efforts of the many officers who volunteered their time and talents without hesitation, sometimes multiple times,” said Commissioner of Police Derek Byrne. “Over the last few months it has been our pleasure to reciprocate the type of assistance that the Cayman Islands received in the aftermath of Hurricane Ivan, further strengthening the ties between us and our sister territories.”