Haiti Marks Anniversary of National Police

By: Caribbean Journal Staff - June 13, 2012

Above: Haiti’s newest police officers (Photo: OP)

By the Caribbean Journal staff

Haiti marked the 17th anniversary of the country’s National Police Tuesday in a ceremony at the Police Academy in Petionville.

Haiti President Michel Martelly was on hand for the ceremony, which also saw the graduation of the academy’s students.

Martelly congratulated the force for its mission, saying he hoped that some of Haiti’s “great crises of insecurity” were behind it.

The President said he was “prepared to do everything possible” to assist the police and the force’s various specialized units in their quest for improved living conditions.

One recently-launched programme aims to help police find better, more affordable housing.

Haiti’s National Police was created in 1995; it had long been a part of the Haitian Army, which was disbanded in the same year.

Long one of Haiti’s biggest challenges, the question of security has returned to the forefront with the presence of former members of the now-dissolved army marching in Port-au-Prince.

Martelly has called for the creation of a new Haitian army, a body he said could, along with Haiti’s National Police, bring security to the country.

That plan has met some international opposition, particularly from the United Nations Security Council, which has called for simply a strengthened police force, and not a new army.

Martelly has said the combination would be necessary to fill the hole that will be eventually created when the UN’s MINUSTAH peacekeeping force departs the country.

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