The St. Maarten Carnival Development Foundation (SCDF), Police, Ambulance and Fire Departments have all agreed on one basic principle for Carnival 2011: There will be no compromise on safety and security.
The aforementioned "partners in Carnival" met recently in a joint session with band leaders to go over the Unity Jump-Up slated for Saturday night as well as the rest of the activities on the Carnival calendar. The intention was to ensure that everyone was on the same page with regards to safety and security and the underlying rules and regulations.
President of the SCDF Stuart Johnson said all involved will apply a no-nonsense policy in following regulations and ensuring that the public and Carnival stakeholders abide by the rules of the law. He said Carnival is a fun-filled, cultural event that is safeguarded by close cooperation of law enforcement, medical services and the SCDF.
"We have always put great emphasis on safety and security. From the moment you enter Carnival Village through our checkpoints to our road events, the presence of our security personnel, the police and ambulance personnel is always very visible. Nothing changes this year, we remain adamant about the safety of the public," Johnson said.
Carnival Village will again be tightly secured for Carnival 2011. Johnson said Sheriff Security will have its usual large contingent of officers in the Village support by the latest in security technology. The Police Department will also have its regular sub-station in the Village to operate from, while Ambulance Department personnel will be present every night and supported by counterparts from Aruba.
The jump-ups and parades will also see heavy Sheriff Security and police presence. "We have a basic message for any potential trouble makers for Carnival 2011: Stay home. We can say that in a more ‘colorful’ way but we think the message is clear," Johnson concluded.