GENDARMERIE: Colonel Maxime Wintzer-Wehekind at the head of COMGEND Saint-Barthélemy/Saint-Martin

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The creation of the command of the gendarmerie of Saint-Barthélemy and Saint-Martin was made official by a taking of arms this Saturday, January 13 at Point Babit, in Oyster pond, in the presence of the prefect of the Northern Islands, Vincent Berton, the prosecutor of the Republic of Basse-Terre, Xavier Sicot, general Vincent Lamballe, commander of the gendarmerie of Guadeloupe, colonel Maxime Wintzer-Wehekind, now first commander of the gendarmerie command of the Northern Islands and numerous civil and military authorities, judicial, administrative and invited.

Organizing the military ceremony at Pointe Babit with a breathtaking view of Saint-Barthélemy was not decided by chance. “The advent at the start of the year 2024 of the command  of the Saint-Barthélemy-Saint-Martin gendarmerie (the 10th command of the Overseas gendarmerie, editor's note) constitutes both the beginning of a new story, and an outcome. It marks the construction of a long path towards recognition of the specificity of Saint-Barthélemy and Saint-Martin.  underlined during his speech, Lieutenant General Lionel Lavergne, commander of the Overseas Gendarmerie, who made a special trip to the Northern Islands for this historic event.

A new page is being written…

“If until now the gendarmerie in Saint-Barthélemy and Saint-Martin was dependent on the command of Guadeloupe which was able to fulfill the mission perfectly, the full autonomy represented by the creation of this command enters into total convergence with a territorial reform started in 2007. This new page of history that you are going to write will above all result in new challenges. The challenge of adapting to new forms of delinquency. If I am counting on you to do this, it is also because I know that you will be equipped with new tools, allowing you to better understand, anticipate and act, under the authority of the prefect and the magistrates. The challenge of inter-service and international cooperation will also have to be taken up. It is imperative to work with other State services, with the entire judicial chain, and with our colleagues from the Dutch side who share our same concerns in the face of growing insecurity, the phenomenon of criminal gangs and to their corollary of collective violence and incivility", insisted the big boss of the Overseas gendarmes.

The military ceremony which will be a landmark in the history of the Northern Islands gendarmerie continued with various decorations awarded to several soldiers in the exercise of their duties. Then came the time for Lieutenant General Lionel Lavergne to present to Colonel Maxime Wintzer-Wehekind the pennant bearing the colors of the new command of the gendarmerie of Saint-Barthélemy and Saint-Martin which is made up of 200 military. Quite a symbol. _AF

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