“Security must mean more than arms and ammunition.” So said Bishop Clyde Harvey of St Georges-in-Grenada in his homily for the Regional Security System’s (RSS) 40th anniversary church service held at the Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church in Grand Anse, October 9.
Founded October 1982 to address regional security issues, the RSS has grown over the years and made significant contributions towards all aspect of security within its member states. These include, according to www.nicefmradio.com, the maintaining of law and order, responding to disasters; as well as conducting major investigations and continuous training programmes.
It has also been playing a significant role since the Covid-19 pandemic by transporting samples from regional states to the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) in Trinidad.
Security, Bishop Harvey said, must also mean more than technology. “Because some of you policemen think you know the technology but there are more young people who know more than you will ever know. And if they become the proponents of the violence and the insecurity, we are in serious trouble.”
The Bishop asserted that RSS does not exist for the sake of the government or any other government. It exists, he highlighted, for the sake of the people.
“…and you as security officers must always understand, whether you’re just a simple policeman or commissioner, you must always understand that what you do is for God’s people,” Bishop Harvey said.
Head of the Antigua and Barbuda Defence Force, Colonel Telbert Benjamin and Commissioner of Police, Atlee Rodney were among the attendees along with a contingent of police officers and soldiers from both forces.
Several dignitaries and government officials were also in attendance including Her Excellency, Dame Dr Cècile La Grenade, Governor General of Grenada and Grenada’s Prime Minister Dickon Mitchell.
Prime Minister Mitchell, who is presently the Chairman of the RSS’ Council of Ministers, offered congratulatory remarks and stressed the importance of such a regional body.
He encouraged other regional leaders to embrace the ideals of the institution and to provide the level of support that is necessary for its continuous survival and success.