The Turks & Caicos Customs Department "Shines" During Junior Officers Basic Training

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The Turks and Caicos Islands Customs Department, on the 25th of January 2019, concluded A three week Caribbean Customs Law Enforcement Council’s (CCLEC) Junior Officers Basic Training, which was commemorated by a closing ceremony. The Course was facilitated by Mr. Andy Fernelon, former Comptroller of the St. Lucian Customs and Excise Department. Thirteen Officers underwent this training, eight of which were Customs Officers, and five Assistant Customs Officers.

In an overview of the training course Mr. Fenerlon highlighted some of the arears covered; “We covered topics such as Legislation, baggage search, valuations, and classification, all of which are important to Customs Officers in the performance of their duties. There were three exams, one each week, and I must say that I am very satisfied with the results.”

The Collector of Customs, Ms. Chawa Williams expressed gratitude for the opportunity to have obtained funding to facilitate the much needed technical training, and thanked Mr. Fernelon who is no stranger to the Customs Department for delivery of said training. In addressing the officers, she stated; “I am very proud of your achievements, and pleased with the results, which reaped an almost one hundred percent pass rate. We have invested in you, and we do expect a return on that investment. I am imploring all of you to not see this training as the end of things, but to also pursue your professional qualifications, whether it be an Associates, Bachelors or Masters Degree, by tapping into the Deputy Governor’s Office Professional Development Fund. By doing so, you will position yourself to elevate through the ranks within the Department.”

Deputy Collector Linda Malcolm, who has direct responsibility for Training, also addressed the Officers, stating; “This is not the end, it is only the beginning. We want you to know that we will move off the scene and you will be the ones who will take over the Department. Like we always say, know your surroundings as a Customs Officer, know what you are supposed to do, continue to read the law, continue to know what your powers are, continue to do things based on what the Ordinance gives you the power to do.” The top three officers receiving the highest result were Danielle Garland, Indiana Robinson, and Marylee Wilson.

Valedictorian Danielle Garland in her address to colleagues stated; “We have spent long hours studying and preparing, congratulations to us all. We have all done our best and we are now ready to hit the road running, and apply the knowledge we have worked so hard to gain… Remember success isn’t just about what you accomplish in life, but rather what you inspire others to do, as we leave here, let us never stop trying to inspire each other in a positive way.

Deputy Governor and Head of the Public Service Anya Williams who was on hand to commemorate the occasion expressed her congratulations to the team stating; “We extend our sincerest congratulations to the graduates of this three week training program and hope that the lessons learned will have a real impact on your day to day work lives. I take this opportunity to thank you for the jobs that you do and to recognize and appreciate how important the roles that you play are to your country. It is true that Customs is indeed our largest revenue earner, but I admonish to look at your jobs not solely from a revenue collection standpoint, but rather from a law enforcement perspective as well. I encourage you to continue to take advantage of the training and other opportunities available to you to assist in your mobility in the service and to continue to serve our country well.”

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