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By: Trevor Constantine
MODERN TECHNOLOGY FOR ST. LUCIA IMMIGRATION
The Immigration Department of the Royal St.Lucia Police Force, has made great strides as it capitalizes on technological advancement. The most recent initiative is the introduction of the Emergency Recovery Project, which is currently being implemented by the Government of St. Lucia in conjunction with St. Lucia Air and Sea Ports Authority.
The objective of the Project is to enhance security at key Airport and Seaport facilities in relation to international standards. A sub component of the project involves procurement of a Passenger Tracking and Watch list System (PTWL). The PTWL system uses modern technology to counter the current and evolving threats to national security in all forms.
The head of the Information Technology Unit of the Royal St. Lucia Police Force, Superintendent Paul Headen Lionel, stated that information relating to passengers leaving and entering the country, will be entered onto a data base in order to enable Immigration authorities to closely monitor and keep track of every passenger.
There will be constant liaison and exchange of information with International Law Enforcement Agencies, thereby facilitating the movement and possible identification of persons primarily for whom, warrants have been issued. Immigration authorities have indicated that this system has been implemented at all ports of entry.
Officers of the Immigration Department, participated in a training programme which was held in Vieux-Fort, during the month of August, 2006. This training was designed to familiarize Immigration personnel with the modern equipment and operation of this new system. The DPM Systems (UK) Ltd, in collaboration with IBM Barbados, who have presented, according to them, a fully comprehensive solution, that not only matches, but also exceeds the Immigration requirements. A similar training programme was initially conducted in Castries.
A spokesman for the DPM systems indicated that the PTWL system is highly efficient and has been implemented for several years in other countries, with an excellent track record. He said, “the product undergoes continuous development to meet both the future requirement of its users and the constant changes in the technologies available.” He emphasized that the PTWL system will never become outdated.
Immigration officers, who have comfortably grasped
the concept of this system, continue to demonstrate much enthusiasm,
bearing in mind the benefits to be derived. They are also optimistic
about the public’s appreciation of this initiative.
Immigration Officers familiarize themselves with new technology