On Monday, September 27th, 2021, Minister
Richardson was received by the Director of the National Forensic Institute
(hereafter NFI), Mr. Marc Elsensohn, and the senior advisor and account manager
for the Caribbean Ms. Judy van Overveld.
The National Forensic Institute is one of the
world’s leading accredited forensic laboratories and one of its kind in the
Netherlands. From its state-of-the-art premises and more than 30 areas of
forensic disciplines, the NFI renders products and services to a wide range of
national and international clients. One being, The Ministry of Justice Sint
Maarten where the NFI contributes to investigations in collaboration with the
Police Force of Sint Maarten and the Public Prosecutor’s Office.
During the visit Minister Richardson and her
delegation received a short presentation on NFI’s extensive operations whereby
the processes and agreements between the NFI and the Ministry of Justice Sint
Maarten were explained and described.
The presentation was followed by a tour of the
front desk where the exhibits are received via a secured container, the DNA
department, ballistics lab or shooting range and lastly the data analysis
Minister Richardson and her delegation were
privileged to witness a forensic serologist positively confirm traces on an
exhibit that was used during a crime.
The pursuit to establish Sint Maarten’s own
Justice learning and training institution remains a high priority item for
Minister Richardson. The institute will be outfitted with a shooting range,
gymnasium, classrooms, administrative offices and pre-forensic facility.
Considering the successful working relationship maintained between the NFI and
Sint Maarten, Minister Richardson aims to ensure that the institute and its
pre-forensic unit specifically are in sync with the NFI. This then means that
the intended facility must have levels of sophistication to optimize
operations, specializing in the collection of data, protection and transport of
same to the NFI.
Ms. van Overveld spoke about the many years
that the NFI has been in service to Sint Maarten and further applauded KPSM for
the great work that they have carried out over the years. Ms. van Overveld
further expressed that she appreciates the professionalism of the Police Force
of Sint Maarten as they have continued to received exhibits sent to the NFI from
Sint Maarten in good quality.
As with all other visits, Minister Richardson
inquired about opportunities for growth, development and advancement for Sint
Maarten. As such, at the NFI, Minister Richardson seized an opportunity to
inquired if there any training courses were available. The NFI confirmed that they offer courses for
advancement in the field and have in the past provided courses and training in
the Dutch Caribbean. The opportunity is therefore available for courses to be
scheduled for staff members to be a part of in the future and thus, Minister
will see to it that coordination is arranged.