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Officer Brian Ebanks accepts his award from Chief Immigration Officer Linda Evans.

Published 13th August 10, 12:0am

National pride, support and encouragement were on display during the Immigration Department's officer recruit graduation ceremony last week, which was attended by top officials and friends of the new officers.

Chief Immigration Officer Linda Evans encouraged the officers to surpass expectations, saying, "Excellence, a positive attitude, especially in the face of challenges; teamwork and open dialogue; and respect for authority and the public are some qualities of a professional officer."

Noting that the programme was "well structured," she added, "While it was very intense, that was only the start of a very demanding road."

The Chief Immigration Officer encouraged the graduates to continue to develop their knowledge base, especially by learning immigration laws, regulations and policies. She also noted that the 10 graduates are the first Immigration officers taken on since 2007, and will replace officers who have been promoted or have left the department.

The event marked the conclusion of three months' training, which covered topics from forgery detection and interview techniques, to behaviour analysis and intelligence. These officers will supplement the border control efforts being undertaken at the air and sea ports, and within the enforcement section of the department.

Telling them that being guardians of the country is not about becoming wealthy or popular, Deputy Governor the Hon. Donovan Ebanks, MBE said, "Learn to manage your new level of importance - especially as perceived by other people. While you will hold special privileges and powers, your integrity and reputation are more valuable than anything else."

He also emphasised the importance of intelligence-gathering, and continuing education.

In his remarks, Deputy Chief Immigration Officer Bruce Smith (Enforcement) reminded the new officers to be "firm, fair and courteous. The final - and most important - examination will be the proving grounds, where you apply your knowledge."

Also attending the event were Acting Chief Officer Mr. Eric Bush, and Deputy Chief Immigration Officers Samantha Bennett (Administration) and Gary Wong (Enforcement and Intelligence).

The class address was presented by graduate Erika Bodden, who pledged her classmates' "honour, duty and personal character in upholding the laws and making a positive difference in the country."

After her remarks, Miss Bodden was given the class's Spirit Award. Also, Brian Ebanks was named most outstanding in theory and practical application; and James Whittaker was noted for his academic achievement.

The department's HR Manager Martha Bush thanked and commended the partner agencies that were involved in the training. These include all local uniformed services as well as the Legal Department, private attorneys, and the Portfolio of the Civil Service.