MUST READ article - living here has become even more dangerous
Linda, You Go Girl!!!
Thanks for your efforts, I will say I appreciate them! You obviously are not one to sit and complain, and it's people like you who chip away at making a difference. Bless You.
I am speaking with someone about the real reason why the ELEO's left, and will definitely bring that to light right here on this thread.
However, I get the feeling that "sharkhunter" may in fact be on vipd payroll, so maybe he/she could be more forthcoming...yes?
Good for you, Linda! Please keep us posted on any replies or action.
Sharkhunter, your information and opinions are interesting. Do you have any opinion as to how to improve the police department or how to lessen crime in the VI?
For all us know-it-alls, I will ask you a couple of simple questions. Why don't we the people feel safe? Where is the protect and serve? Don't pull I'm a cop and know better than you Please.
WOW. Great discussion, it took me forever to read it all, but glad there is so much here to read.
I definitely don't feel good about ATF leaving. And, I definitely don't think all local cops are crooked. But I more importantly feel much less safer without ATF here, especially if they might set the pace for the rest of our federal agents.
SharkHunter: cat got your tongue? You were so "informative", and I was hoping to hear back from you...
To me, your posts were typical of the vipd "bullying" that occurs often in the territory. I could almost hear you shouting in your comments, and it is often true that the one who shouts loudest is not the winner. The one who acts in a way that benefits the community, although they may be the last to cross the finish line, is the one who actually is recognized as the winner.
Please, don't get me wrong: there are many officers I have met and talked with who are the opposite of what you project. And that goes for all three islands on the map. I believe in VIPD, unless Francis can't see what is needed for the future in relations to public safety and peace.
SharkeHunter, you remind of of an ex-police officer, who is forbidden to carry a firearm, but carries a grudge.
well of course it's a punishment, who the hell in their right mind would want to come here and fight crime, the cops are the criminals,christ almighty everyone knows that,hell i told the vipd exactly which heroin dealer had my laptop,where it was at and i still have not gotten it back,stupid incompetents as far as i'm concerned
I emailed Governor deJongh a letter about this matter as soon as the article was published, but I don't expect to hear anything from him. It's easy to discount letters, petitions, picketing, etc., because they don't harm the bottom line. I suspect nothing of substance will occur unless our safety problems severely threaten the tourism economy. Frustrated residents, scared residents, dead residents simply don't matter as much as the tourist dollar.
sharkie: I don't think that federal agents or police stop being federal agents or police because they are at the beach or watching some maniac drunk with a lethal weapon coming at them.
I suppose you may have been at work yesterday during the Free Speech program...If you were listening, you would have found out that unless you post or wear a "no Trespassing" sign. the police will do nothing. If it's not posted against the law, then it must not be. Forget what's on the books, you have to bear or wear a sign!
Some people go out at night, and don't sit around typing.
The protect and serve is here, and has never left. We have to look at our leaders who are a bunch of fat cats who come in with their own agendas, and leave the community on its own, and just blame the police. A known trend is when you have elections for the gov. and Senate, everything wrong on the island is blamed on the police. The same in the papers. There is so much information being reported incorrectly. The good things never come out.
Linda from Michigan: I'll bet anything that your dad as a retired sheriff did MORE as a deputy sheriff than a trooper ever did-more than "chasing tail-lights" down the highway, as troopers do. Why bring troopers here, that are specialized for highway safety?
We need to tackle why the people here in the VI ,no matter what race or gender, do not become part of the police force, instead of bringing in someone from the outside.
I honestly don't know why about half of the lateral transfer officers left. It's not easy to deal with this community. You had officers here not only from the states, but Jamaica. Maybe it wasn't what they expected and they got a big culture shock. Don't know. They were getting paid more that the regular police to do beat work. Right now an ELEO made officer of the month, named Gregory Bennison, Jr. He came from being an officer in the states, and his dad used to be a Chief Det. and former Senator on St. Croix.
Not shouting. Just speaking my mind. It's frustrating because the feds will segregate themselves from the local police, yet get the end-all, be-all credit.
Why don't people feel safe?... Officers risk their lives here, and apprehend criminals. The criminals are released too quickly, both in sentencings and in inadequate pre-trial release conditions, and often commit crimes while out on pre-trial release. It seems like no one cracks down on the judges and reports who released whom. Judge Kendall on St. Thomas was getting heat from the Women's Coalition for poor decisions, and now he is leaving the bench. I'd say this may be due in part to the community outcry.
Prosecutors on St. Croix are overwhelmed and understaffed compared to St. Thomas, but St. T is still a wreck, so don't know the answer to that. Repeat offenders are being released by judges constantly.
I don't have a grudge, just don't like people being one-sided and totally biased against the p.dept. They need more resources. They need more manpower that can deal with what's going on in the streets, like housing community gang-type warfare. There are bad officers, but that is the same everywhere. No one is exempt from having bad cops in their departments.
Crime will always be here. It just relocates itself. People are always looking for an easy dollar. The security cameras helped with the east end attempted burglaries, and quick arrests were made. Tips are getting reported more to crimestopppers. Need more neighborhood meetings with zone commanders and their staff going. Invite the pd to the neighborhood meetings. Ask for the Cotton Valley substation to be re-opened, (there was one by the firestation). That way it won't be a surprise when residents see a cruiser in their area. Put a substation in LaValle to cover Can Bay, but you need manpower, and no one wants to be a cop on St. Croix. You can meet with officers anytime and learn their names and faces. They're people too.
I think fixing the problem starts with getting rid of the people in politics with their own agendas, and putting those that are qualified in the top positions. It is bad about ATF leaving, but they weren't a big presence, at least not on St. Croix. Not like the DEA or HIDTA. They didn't investigate gun cases on St. Croix. The local police did, and then occasionally, the US Attys Office would take the case, often upon referral from the AG's office. The US Attys Office still sends a lot of the gun cases back. In my opinion all robberies and firearm cases should be dealt with federally, with an initial responding officer, because it's needed for the first call, but then a federal agent takes over as case agent. It's not happening.
Wow sharkie for someone who wants to call people "know it alls" you probably should check your own facts and resources before posting...
In an earlier post: With respect to the feds being feds 24/7 -not true, if you mean they can make arrests all the time here, for everything.
-Feds are Feds 24/7. Again I will state, a fed can make an arrest 24/7 for ANY felony committed in their presence! It's not that hard to understand.
Check your facts before you call anyone out: Also, when I said "FBI bust" it WAS an FBI "bust" with the bootleg DVDs, because the FBI spearheaded it, with VIPD and maybe a few other agency people there for manpower. That equals FBI bust, and I don't know what the big deal is, except for you mentioning you're married to an agent, Betty
-FBI AND ICE jointly opened and investigated the DVD case. VIPD was only there for support. It may be petty, but proves that some people only talk out their a@@.
The feds could have scooped up the DVDs a long time ago, but that would not have accomplished a whole lot. They wanted to make a statement. They took the extra time to investigate a few of the actual manufacturers of the pirated DVDs. So they worked with the US Attorney's Office to build a case against some of the manufactuerers. It's true there were no arrests. It was a search warrant only. Evidence from the search usually builds probable cause for an arrest down the road.
Your best statement was "Some people go out at night, and don't sit around typing."
What is your excuse for posting at 11:14?
What? There's a life beyond the keyboard?!? Actually after working all day this IS my relaxation. I don't party, drink, or drug.
State troopers (at least in Michigan) are trained in all aspects of investigation and policing. Sure they patrol the highways, but they have experience in more than just that. I've dealt more with the state boys than with local or county - despite my dad being one. I've personally known them to investigate murders, armed robbery, car thefts, physical abuse cases, domestic disputes.
I think we need an immediate solution to the lack of police officers WHILE we are working on a sustainable solution. I would much rather see our own people want to take the initiative and become local LEO. But until that happens, we have to have a stop gap solution while working on fixing the cause of the problems we have.
As for the sustainable solution - while I believe in writing to legislative leaders, I believe that organized efforts by ordinary citizens can move mountains.
This is like a few people writing letters - no cohesion - can be very effective but not immediately:
It starts with a few - like if you move somewhere and the neighbors don't take care of the yard or house - but you do - they see you doing it and how much better it looks for a little effort - next thing you know they're out there doing something to clean it up.
But you get a group of people together:
Like having the whole baseball league coming over and fixing the house - man it's done in no time. And they're moving on to the next one.
The whole problem is so very big when you start seeing how far-reaching it is. Yeah, Golden Grove is broken. Nepotism is real and one of the main causes of so much that happens (or doesn't) in this territory. I truly can only speak for STX. There are bad cops and bad lawyers. Bad politicians. But there are good cops and good lawyers and good politicians too. We need to come together as a group - and figure out what big picture solutions there are and then do what it takes to put them in place.
So what do we do? Let's quit playing badminton here and decide what needs to be done. I don't believe in all talk and no action. There is power in the well planned, cohesive actions of a group of citizens. Tell us what's next. Who's going to stand up and pull a group of people together who are tired of the crap and want to put a plan of action together to fix the problem(s) that plague this territory? Will it be you? Or will you wait for your neighbor or the guy down the street - or the gal that runs the restaurant to take the lead? Who's going to stand up and do this?
Another question is have you felt any less safe since November? That is apparently when the ATF pulled out, not recently as everyone is implying. Personally in STX, I've felt that the police have really been stepping up, catching murder suspects and being much more of a presence in the past few months.
I suggest you all read what the Daily News has to say about this affair:
"We agreed that the exclusion of the ATF shooting team was a major contributor to the issues of complete mistrust that arose between the ATF and the VIPD and resulted in the ATF withdrawing all of its agents from the Virgin Islands."
Thx NoOne, this is a good article to read. The excerpt that you pulled out says it all, but I think the real nail in the coffin was:
Prosecutors argued that Clark did not have a duty under federal law to intervene in a domestic violence disturbance, which is a territorial offense under V.I. law. They also argued that ATF agents are not designated peace officers under V.I. Code and that Clark acted as a private citizen at the time he shot Sukow.
Feds have the full legal authority as federal agents to arrest for ANY felony committed in their presence regardless of their statutory authority.
Now, I may not know the full details of what happened that morning, but I'd say if I were a fed and someone was was coming after me or someone else with a pipe, and they were committed to causing bodily harm or worse, I think that it would be my duty to intervene. This authority applies 24/7. I don't think feds have time clocks.
I didn't know anything about ATF. I feel just as safe now as I always have.
the FBI is still here. I feel as safe as I have ever felt. I live east but work in Csted. I drive through several projects daily, no problem. About a month or so my ratta broke down in Hamilton Jackson. Several people who hang out came over and saw I had trouble. Together we poked and prodded with no results. Soon another brother stopped , greeted everyone, had brief conversation then asked, What it do?. I told him and he found the computer and unplugged and plungged in, It started and ran enough to get to a mechanic for a transplant.
The issue is with the idle, dropout,illiterate, gangsta wannabes that think the man owes them a living. They have no skills, they think manual labor is below them. They get by doing petty thefts and robbing us and selling dime bags.
Until the culture of this spiral towards failure is changed, nothing will happen.
Awhile ago a bill was propose that to get a drivers licence you would need to be a high school grad or GED. I thought that was the start of something but our senators hungry for popularity and votes shot it down. The education commissioner it seems hasn't changed a think. The dropout rate continues to rise setting hundreds of mostly young men for failure.
Okay, sharkie, I am going to go out on limb here and say: If we are to repair the problems in the VI, we will need to get rid of the unions, put all civil servants on a merit-based pay schedule. That way, the teachers will have to teach the children and the police will have to police, etc. Until the children can read and write at or above grade level, we will not be able to find sufficient trained staff for any branch of the government.
Okay, fire away! 😀
Were did you locate the info on Bennerson being the Officer of the Month? I looked on vipd website, but was not able to locate.
I think this is important and beneficial info for the general public.
Another question is have you felt any less safe since November?
How safe we feel is much less important than the fact that these islands have actually become less safe. Feeling safe is largely a matter of whether you or people you know have been victimized by criminals. Just because you and your acquaintances have been fortunate doesn't mean your luck will hold out indefinitely.
dntw8up I think you have done us all a great service starting this thread and Linda is clearly a doer.
Here we have fed(s) talking to VIPD and I think a lot has been learned.
As I just returned from "Paradise",and I say that with Respect.As I hope to return as a" relocated mainlander soon".All of your comments have truth to them. The government on both side of the coin,both here on the mainland & in the islands are taking more freedoms away from us.It is with a cautious eye we need to keep on our government & the "Amount of controls" it has on us as citizens.Don't take this the wrong way.I'm not a vigilante.We have gangs in Chicago,poppin off kids left & right.I believe in the 1st four months of this year,there were 20 killings of kids.And again just yesterday another.We become numb to some things.However the "CAUSE & EFFECT" remain the same.Bad guy-- good guy& the reinforcement of the Laws , do the crime --they should spend some TIME. I love your Island & the people I met ,for the week I was there..I don't think I ever met people that were hard workers as I met at the Hotel Carib.most of the maids work 2 jobs.I give them alot of credit.I know there are others out there.What about the $$$$$$ incentive to the island?? If I were on the island's and in government.I would be thinking,Tourists makes the $$$$$ ,if the crime persists,bye--bye tourists. For what its worth ,that's my .02 worth.
My perception is that a certain contingency of people in the VI do not like tourists, do not want tourists, and wish that the tourists would go away. Their behavior suggests this attitude. Or at the very least, their behavior shows that they do not understand the dire implications to the VI economy and their quality of lives if tourism does take a big hit. So, I don't expect those people to have an appropriate level of concern about rising crime's negative effect on tourism.
Wow sharkie for someone who wants to call people "know it alls" you probably should check your own facts and resources before posting...
Well,at least shark tried to answer, right or wrong.
There are some who come across as self proclaimed know it alls,& when you question the veracity of their original statement, you get a answer such as
"if it`s that important to you, look it up"!!!!=Useless
And East`s comment of"Until the children can read and write at or above grade level, we will not be able to find sufficient trained staff for any branch of the government.
Okay, fire away!"
I agree w/ East!!!
Of course, then there`s that (we can`t use the word retarded)erm unusual way of rational so prevalent here.