“The St. Maarten Hospitality & Trade Association strongly condemns the actions that led to the shooting of a police officer. SHTA stands in solemn solidarity with Police officer Benjamin, as he fights for his life, his family and the police force at this time.
Police, Ambulance and Fire men, those persons who put their lives on the line every day for Country St. Maarten. When everyone is running away, these men and women are the one’s running into every and all situations. Too often their bravery, courage and deep sense of duty towards the citizens and visitors alike, is underestimated and undervalued. St. Maarten is not exempted from crime, poverty or any other ails a Country faces. Yesterday’s shooting incident is a clear example of the far reaching consequences of the escalating crime on St. Maarten. Though an incident like this can quickly turn away visitors from our island, it is our reaction to what has happened that will determine the future of our St. Maarten’s Tourism.
Therefore, rather than focusing on the negatives, SHTA urges the community to focus on solution oriented conversations. This is the time that we as a community, private and public have to unify ourselves and effectively work on an all-encompassing plan to ensure and safe guard our community. Crime can never truly be eradicated as it unfortunately is a part of the delicate make-up of any and all societies. But this should not mean that we remain complacent and let crime over run our island. Instead we should be banded together to create measures to bring about a decline crime and ensure the safety of our citizens and visitors. SHTA conveys their prayers and well wishes of a speedy recovery of officer Benjamin.“