Police and justice

Police Officers BES Earn Less Than Counterparts on Aruba, Curaçao and St. Maarten

The Chief of KPCN, would like to see certain adjustments to the way officers are remunerated and promoted. Photo: KPCN.
KPCN - Josy Rosales

The Chief of KPCN, would like to see certain adjustments to the way officers are remunerated and promoted. Photo: KPCN.

Kralendijk- For a long time, police officers of KPCN have been complaining that they are underpaid in comparison to their counterparts in Aruba, Curaçao and Sint Maarten. It now turns out they were right.

At the request of the Dutch Ministry of Justice, a research agency conducted a study in early 2018 into the job evaluation and salary of police officers at KPCN, and made a comparison with the remuneration of the police force in Curaçao, Aruba and Sint Maarten.

The results of the study show that the compensation at KPCN is indeed lower than for the other three other police organizations. According to Director General of Police, there are however no indications that the difference in pay has led to an outflow of officers to the neighboring island. If police officers leave the force, it is mostly to join a police force in The Netherlands. “And if they switch to one of the other forces in the Caribbean part of the Kingdom, it usually has to do with family”, according to the official reaction.

Justice Minister Grapperhaus is of the opinion that the outflow of officers from the KPCN so far is no reason for concern. “In the years 2015, 2016 and 2017, four, eight and eight KPCN personnel respectively left the corps”, according to Grapperhaus in a letter on the subject to Dutch Parliament.

According to the leadership of KPCN, even if employee turnover is only a small part of the problem, the lower remuneration at the KPCN does cause problems when it comes to recruitment of new officers.

Situation in St. Eustatius and Saba
KPCN officers in St. Eusatius and Saba are especially dissatisfied with their remuneration because, according to them, more is expected from them on the smaller islands in comparison to their colleagues in Bonaire. The officers have pointed out that there is no compensation for these extra tasks.

Another aspect causing discontent regards the promotion of rank from agent (scale 6) to that of brigadier (scale 7). Previously, after five years of work experience with good functioning, this was an automatic process, but nowadays the person involved has to apply for it. The Chief of Police for KPCN would like to see this practice changed back to the way it was.

The conclusions about the remuneration at KPCN are part of a broader study that was conducted into the functioning of the Police Force on the 3 BES-islands. The overall conclusion of the study is that the Force has come a long way in a positive direction.

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