British Sovereign Base Area Police has once again strengthened its force after 14 new Cypriot recruits were sworn in during a ceremony in Dhekelia last week.
This latest tranche has seen the force increase by 29 in total this year after 15 new recruits took the oath after graduating in January.
The officers – 11 Greek Cypriots and three Turkish Cypriots- now begin two years of intense education in the field of law enforcement.
During the ceremony, in the presence of Chief Constable Chris Eyre and the Bases Administrator, Major General Rob Thomson, the recruits were given a feel for the importance of the work they would be undertaking in a community that has been changed by COVID-19.
Chief Constable Eyre told them: “As you become a member of the SBA Police you join a very special organisation at a unique point in our history.
COVID-19 has changed the world more quickly and more completely than any war, any financial crisis, or any natural disaster.
Policing too has changed. Our fundamental role is still to uphold the law and maintain the peace, but we have added the enforcement of restrictions to prevent the spread of this deadly virus.”
SBA Police Chief of Staff, Chief Inspector Maria Atalioti, who led the recruitment, paid tribute to the new officers for coming through the notoriously demanding process.
She said: “It is extremely difficult and challenging but it allows us to identify and recruit the very best and most suitable people for the job.”
New police constable, 27-year old Theophano Economidou, who lives in Nicosia, spoke of his pride in finally taking his police oath: “I have joined SBA Police because it was a goal of mine and I was determined to succeed.
“I am very excited to be getting the opportunity and to be a part of the SBA Police team, I feel very proud.”
Turkish Cypriot, 30-year old Halil Houres, also from Nicosia, said: “I joined for the pursuit of a better life, both personally and professionally.
I love helping others and working as part of a team and I am very excited for what is to come and to learn new things along the way.”
After this latest round of recruitment, the total number of SBA Police officers now serving the community stands at 241.