Eric Francis and Daisy Mercedes-Castillo, "proud to wear the uniform" of gendarme

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Two Saint-Martinois reservist gendarmes testify to their experience and invite young people to apply.

The job of security is their "passion". Eric Francis, 26, is a territorial police officer in Saint-Martin. He has also been a reservist constable for three years. Daisy Mercedes-Castillo, 35, restaurateur at Sandy Ground, was security assistant with the border police (PAF) from 2007 to 2013. "I did not want to continue my career for family and personal reasons", she says. However, she did not give up her vocation and joined the operational reserve of the gendarmerie in 2011. Both said they were "proud to wear the uniform, to carry the republican values".

But their commitment within the gendarmerie goes beyond satisfying their "passion" for security. For Eric Francis, it is a way to "serve" his island. "Our role is to be close to the people, to bring insurance," he believes. “We are indeed there to reassure. People come to file complaints because they are victims, some may be crying. We are here to welcome them, ”adds Daisy Mercedes-Castillo.

In Saint-Martin, the mission of a reservist is to carry out patrols, to be on the ground in contact with the population in order to prevent delinquency. "We are also brought to appease situations because we know the local specificities, we can help the gendarmes who come from mainland", says Eric Francis. "Having Saint Martin's gendarmes by our side is an undeniable advantage because they know the terrain, know how to speak English," admits Lieutenant-Colonel Sébastien Manzoni, in charge of the command of the company of Saint-Martin. “The fact of being able to dialogue with people in their language made it possible to reduce the tension on an intervention, to delay the situation. There were 150 people around me and they only wanted to speak to me because I was Saint-Martinoise, ”recalls Daisy Mercedes-Castillo.

"We are an example to follow for young people," says Eric Francis. “Young people must get involved and join us. They must not simply see the repressive side of the gendarmerie, "he insists while acknowledging that he is there" to uphold the law ". “You shouldn't see the bad side. There are also positive sides, the gendarmerie is a beautiful family, ”he declares. And of memory of a very moving intervention: “I helped a person in distress not to commit suicide. We talked a lot. We can also have a role of listening, of psychologist. It's not just the judicial side. ”

Like Daisy, Eric claims that his relatives and friends have never criticized him for his involvement in the gendarmerie, an institution that is often often criticized locally. "On the contrary, people respect me. They come to me for advice, ”says Daisy.

For Eric, joining the operational reserve is a way for young people to become soldiers. “Often young people sign up to the RSMA (adapted military service regime) for the military side, this side which does not exist within the territorial or national police. By being a reservist, they will have this status, ”explains Eric, brigadier. It is also possible to evolve within the reserve and to rise in rank up to that of lieutenant-colonel. Daisy is currently brigadier chef and will become marshal in March.

Eric Francis and Daisy Mercedes-Castillon are among the ten men and women who make up the operational reserve of Saint-Martin. Lieutenant-Colonel Manzoni would like to be able to have a staff three times greater in order to constitute a local prevention cell. He therefore launched a call for candidates. A recruitment day will take place on March 2 at La Savane barracks. (Source: www.soualigapost.com)

To register, it is possible to send an email to crd.bp.comgendgp@gendarmerie.interieur.gouv.fr specifying their last name, first name, date and place of birth so that recruiters can schedule appointments. (Source: www.soualigapost.com)

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