While Government continues to use a private ‘bodyguard service’ to protect Premier and Minister of Finance, Hon. Andrew Fahie, the Royal Virgin Islands Police Force (RVIPF) is ensuring that officers are trained to deliver similar services.
Eight officers from the Armed Response Unit of the RVIPF have successfully completed a six-week Close Protection Training Course conducted by the Bermuda Police Force from July to December 2019.
The first cohort that included four officers from the RVIPF, attended the Course from July to August 2019. They were also the very first to do so from the British Virgin Islands. The second training session was conducted from September to October 2019 and four more officers attended.
Commissioner of Police, Michael Matthews stated that it is important that the RVIPF stays at the forefront of the latest capabilities developed for policing at an international level.
“This training will equip the force going forward to provide a broader range of policing responses and ensure the safety and security of high profile visitors to the Territory. I am advised my officers did extremely well during the training and I thank them for being a credit to the RVIPF,” the Commissioner explained.
According to the RVIPF, during the training, the officers were constantly assessed on the four core protection principals of reacting spontaneously, providing effective body cover, neutralising the threat and showing consideration for the principal.
The course also focused on CPO shooting, officers safety training, vehicle tactics and convoy driving, route planning, and driving skills among other areas.
The course concluded with the officers, who are now all trained to the international standards for close protection, enacting real time scenarios with the Health Minister and Governor of Bermuda.
Notably, the RVIPF stated that the information and skills acquired from the Course will be beneficial to the RVIPF in elevating the level of service provided to high ranking officials and the public at large.
Since taking up the office of Premier, Hon. Fahie has used the services of a private security company, a decision that has sparked controversy. It has also forced the Premier to deny that that the firm was contracted for $1M.
However, the Premier had revealed that he received three threats of assassination since taking office. He noted that the matter is with the Commissioner of Police and that he is hoping that it could be brought under control so he would no longer need the personal security, which is being funded by 2019 budget allocations.
Hon. Fahie had further indicated that he has received tips as to who the authors of these death threats are, dubbing them “greedy people in high places”, and noting that his bodyguards have been ordered to shoot to kill anyone who makes an attempt on his life.