After 37 years of service, the Brooklyn-based St. Vincent and the Grenadines Ex-Police Association, U.S.A., AInc. continues to “stand unwaveringly on the foundation laid down by its founding fathers,” according to the group’s president Arden Tannis.
“They were men who adhered to a creed while they were serving members of the Royal St. Vincent and the Grenadines Police Force: ‘One for All and All for One,’” said Tannis in addressing the 37th Anniversary Fundraising Gala and Awards Ceremony Saturday night at Glen Terrace on Avenue N in Brooklyn.
“It was this belief that pushed them to act, resulting in the formation of this organization,” added, who has served two consecutive years as president of one of the older Vincentian groups in the United States. “Their coining and use of our tagline, ‘Staying together to Serve,’ have served the organization well. It has been the secret of our longevity.
“As the SVG [St. Vincent and the Grenadines] Ex- Police Association continues to grow, so will be our commitment to serve our members and our community both in our motherland and here in the Diaspora,” continued Tannis, stating that the group will, among other things, continue to increase donation of supplies and equipment to needy institutions in St. Vincent and the Grenadines, render aid to ex-police officers and their families in times of distress, provide additional aid towards the education of the youth, and extend visits and contributions of toiletries and other personal effects to nursing homes and the sick and shut-ins in the homeland.
He said the St. Vincent and the Grenadines Ex-Police Association, U.S.A., Inc. comprises former members of the Royal St. Vincent and the Grenadines Police Force, and was founded in August 1978 in Brooklyn.
According to the commemorative journal, the objectives of the group are to unite former police officers who resided in the United States, particularly in New York, and engage them in fund-raising initiatives, thus allowing them to provide assistance to other ex-police offices during unforeseen emergencies.
The decision to form the association was made as a result of the tragic and untimely death of Alpheaus Diamond, a 36-year-old police sergeant of the Royal St. Vincent Police Force.
While on vacation in Brooklyn, Diamond, in attempting to escape a fire in the home where he stayed, jumped from a window and sustained injuries from which he later died.
Since returning Diamond’s body home to St. Vincent and the Grenadines for burial became a financial burden for his family, ex-police officers in New York “got together and pooled their resources to provide the necessary funds to have his body transported,” the journal states.
Despite occasional difficulties, the St. Vincent and the Grenadines Ex-Police Association, U.S.A., Inc. “continues to create a positive impact here in New York and at home in St. Vincent and the Grenadines,” the journal adds.
In saluting the group, the Consulate of St. Vincent and the Grenadines to the United States noted its “longevity as an organization that functions in the Diaspora to benefit police and police organizations in the homeland.”
“Who would have thought that the actions of a handful of ex-police officers 37 years ago, who, by pooling resources to repatriate the remains of a fallen colleague, Sergeant Alpheus Diamond, would result in the formation and sustaining of such a vibrant organization?” said St. Vincent and the Grenadines Consul General Howie Prince in his remarks. “Clearly, yours is a master tale of determination, strength of character and perseverance.”
The umbrella Vincentian group in the US, the Brooklyn-based Council of St. Vincent and the Grenadines Organization U.S.A. Inc. (COSAGO), of which the police association is a member, also extended congratulatory greetings.
“Celebrating 37 years demonstrates your tireless work in the communities you serve,” said COSAGO president Laverne McDowald-Thompson in addressing the Award Ceremony. “You have come this far, maintaining a stellar record. “Today, your focus is on offering scholarships, acquiring a building and taking care of the youth. I support your positive visions, as you work to make a difference in our communities.”