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Gov't denies moving to establish police state in Dominica

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

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ROSEAU, Dominica (CMC) — The Dominica Government yesterday dismissed speculation that it was moving towards establishing a police state, after announcing plans to recruit at least 100 more police officers and receiving a number of military vehicles from China.

National Security Minister Rayburn Blackmoore said that the time has come for Dominica, which is moving to become the first climate-resilient nation in the world, to have a specialised police service.

“What we are going to ensure is that we have a specialised unit… so that they can respond to issues of internal security and also to have a situation whereby… the guys can cover a roof for you, they can operate a Bobcat.”

Blackmoore said when members of the Jamaica Defence Force came here to provide assistance following the passage of Hurricane Maria last September, “what they came with were skill sets, and if you are talking about building a climate-resilient country… you have persons with those kind of skills relevant to our survival.

“So that's what we are talking about. It is not about trying to create an army,” he said, adding “so I think the police force and government getting additional resources to augment the capabilities of the police force is something that is important for all of us and should not be seen as a move to create a military state,” Blackmoore said.

Dominica's military was disbanded in 1981 after the then Dame Eugenia Charles Government announced a plot to unseat her Administration by a coup.

The head of the defence force, Major Frederick Newton, was executed in 1986 after he was convicted of murdering a police officer when members of the army launched an assault against the police headquarters and prison.

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