Thursday 31 December officially is the last day of service of Jacques van der Horde at the BES Public Prosecution. This means that after more than 25 years he bids farewell to his work for the Public Prosecutor’s Office.
More than 25 years ago Mr. Van der Horde started his service at the Public Prosecution as Officer on Duty of the Public Prosecution [Dienstdoend Ambtenaar Openbaar Ministerie], as it was called at the time. As of that moment he was the face and point of contact of the Public Prosecution on St. Eustatius. Under the authority of the public prosecutor on St. Maarten, Van der Horde was able to perform the judicial duties on the island with a tremendous degree of independence. He therefore had the powers of a deputy public prosecutor, as this was called later on. This means that he was in charge of the criminal investigation activities of the police, was able to exercise powers himself or could bring actions before the examining judge on behalf the Public Prosecution. In that sense the Officer on Duty of the Public Prosecution is an indispensable link for the public prosecutors who could not be on the smaller islands all the time.
Jacques van der Horde was given a considerable amount of appreciation in this position. His independent way of working and his accuracy were indispensable qualities. His knowledge of the island and the fact that he knew many people from St. Eustatius personally from his career as a teacher, made him an ideal pillar for the Public Prosecution. His special involvement in the work stood out. He went far beyond just implementing rules. He himself took initiative and made personal contact with citizens to make sure that their problems with justice remained as limited as possible. In 2010 Jacques van der Horde became a member of the new BES Public Prosecution. With his knowledge and experience on the island he once again was of great value for the specially appointed public prosecutor for St. Eustatius and Saba. He also worked on Saba many times to support the colleagues over there.
According to Henry Hambeukers, Chief Public Prosecutor of the BES Public Prosecution, the Public Prosecution on St. Eustatius will undergo an irreversible change with the departure of Jacques van der Horde: “colleague Van der Horde is unique as a person and therefore also as an employee. The Public Prosecution is undergoing changes, as a result of which we are handling matters differently. But even if we would continue like we did before, no one would be able to imitate Jacques. The Public Prosecution but certainly also the agencies with which the Public Prosecution works together on St. Eustatius and Saba will miss him considerably. We as Public Prosecution Service would have been very pleased to say goodbye to him during a reception for everyone who knows him and thus show our appreciation. However, Jacques van der Horde wanted to leave quietly. And this too we respect. For this is typical of the man like we know him.” As of 1 January 2016 the BES Public Prosecution will be available for the population from so-called front offices both on St. Eustatius and Saba. The front offices and the employees on location will be available for all questions about criminal cases and other matters concerning the Public Prosecution. They are in direct contact with the specialists on Bonaire.