The Pacific Islands Chiefs of Police (PICP) achieved a milestone with the first ever virtual handing over of the Chairmanship of the PICP body to the Fiji Police Force earlier today.

Accepting the PICP Chairman’s appointment on behalf of the Fiji Police was the Acting Commissioner Rusiate Tudravu.

Witnessing the virtual handing over ceremony was the outgoing Chair Samoan Police Commissioner HTC Le’I Sonny Thompson, Commissioner Maara Tetava from the Cook Islands Police, Commissioner Fuiavailili Keil, New Zealand Police Commissioner Andrew Coster, Australian Federal Police Commissioner Reece P Kershaw, Solomon Islands Police Commissioner Mosty Mangau, Nauru’s Acting Commissioner Iven Notte, Niue Police Commissioner Chief Tim Wilson and incoming Deputy Chair CNMI Police Commissioner Robert A. Guerrero.

Also present were representatives of the New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Australian Department Foreign Affairs and Trade, the head of the Royal Solomon Islands Police Force, NZ Police Liaison Officer Inspector Sue Douglas and the AFP’s Superintendent of Police Glen Fisher and senior members of the Fiji Police Force.

The virtual handing over was facilitated by the PICP Secretariat’s Acting Director Glyn Rowland from their Wellington based office.

The Acting Commissioner of Police Rusiate Tudravu while accepting the Chairmanship role on behalf of the Commissioner of Police Brigadier General Sitiveni Qiliho said Fiji will continue the legacy and work left behind by the outgoing Chair.

“It is indeed a proud day for all of us – and undoubtedly a day that will go down in history as the first virtual handing over of leadership the Pacific Islands Chiefs of Police has undergone”.

“Fiji is proud and honoured to be taking up the Chairmanship of PICP and it’s a role that we will hold with high distinction and respect as we are committed to working in partnership with all PICP member countries in enhancing policing capabilities of our Pacific law enforcement agencies”.

Fiji last held the Chairmanship of the PICP in 2005.

The PICP formerly known as the Conference of Commissioners and Chiefs of Police was established in 1970 at a meeting held in Suva.

Fiji was set to host the 50th Anniversary celebrations this year whereby the handing over ceremony was to take place, however plans were postponed due to COVID-19.

As most PICP member countries are still facing travel restrictions, the Secretariat proposed to hold the virtual handing over ceremony to ensure the work of PICP continued.

The newly appointed Chair reaffirmed Fiji’s commitment in supporting neighbouring Pacific Island nations in ongoing efforts towards strengthening Policing efforts in the region.

“Fiji is ready to contribute, support and empower our Pacific law enforcement officers and we assure fellow members of our commitment towards identifying workable solutions to overcome the current challenges brought about by the global health crisis”.

“With the strong backing of our regional partners New Zealand and Australia thorough their respective Ministries and Departments of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Fiji will strive to ensure minimal disruptions to the delivery of programs.

The Acting Commissioner called on the Chiefs of the Executive Leadership Team to work together in accordance with the veilomani spirit.

“There is a Fijian or i-taukei word veilomani that has been used to describe how we in Fiji have overcome the natural and health challenges faced in recent months and it essentially means to care for each other”.

“Fifty years ago right here in Fiji, the then Chiefs of Police displayed the veilomani spirit in understanding the need to foster Police cooperation and share information and experience to safely secure Pacific Island communities and we too must unite and have a mission that can withstand the test of time and also be relevant 50 years from now”.

Fiji takes over the Chairmanship of the PICP for the next two years.

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