Police Officer Relocating to USVI
I'm currently a police officer in Alabama, but have recently applied to the USVI PD. I have a few questions. If someone could assist me in finding the answers, I would be very grateful.
1) What is the general opinion of the Police Department and its officers? I've always heard horror stories about the corruption of police officers in the Caribbean, and would obviously not want to work for such a department. I know you always have a few bad apples, but would like to know if the officers are known to do their job with respect and consideration for the citizens they protect.
2)What would be a good area to look for an apartment? I'm a single white male in my twenties that likes to have fun, but I general stick to myself and a small group of friends. Also, as a police officer, I would like to know that when I first move to the island I don't move into a bad area and have my police equipment stolen the first day.
3)What are the gun laws like in USVI? Being a police officer, I am also a gun owner. I have back up weapons I use in my job now, and need to know how much of a pain it would be to bring my weapons onto the island.
4)What's a good local dive shop? I love diving, but would like to stay away from a tourist trap dive shop.
Thank you in advance for any assistance you can provide.
Once accepted, I would have a choice of St. Thomas, St. Croix, or St. John/Water Island.
Being underpaid is a fact of life for police officers. It would be a 35-40% raise for me. My department is extremely underpaid, and our city just had a new overtime policy put into place which all but eliminates any chance at overtime. We also can't have a full retirement until we have 30 years...and we've changed our policies(thanks to the mayor and city council), so retirees now pay $700 a month for insurance.
I am very interested in hearing some people who really know what is going on respond to this topic. I have opinions and observations, but I DO NOT REALLY KNOW WHAT IS happening in the local police department(s).
If you are a white male you would be one of only a few that I have observed on St Croix. Most of the officers that I see on the streets are young black men, who I am told are born and raised on the island. The department is not well thought of in general. However I see a real effort being made by the administration to become more professional and inclusive. The Virgin Island government tells us that they want a police department that is representative of the population and has the training and experience to do a better job. The problems in my opinion are not with the individual officers, but with the "system".
Part of the problem, in my opinion, is that officers are not always well educated and are selected by who they know or are related to, rather than through a competitive examination. Again, we are told that changes are being made. Maybe you will part of those changes.
Good luck in your journey to become a VI police officer. Our island will become a better place as it becomes more inclusive.
I have also recently applied to the USVIPD, its been a while since this post so I was wondering how everything turned out. I am an academy graduate from California.
Did you end up working for the department?
Are you still there currently?
Maybe an email possibly so I could get you're opinion on a few things, that would be awesome. Mine is firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested in answering some of my questions and helping me out.
Regardless, I hope everything turned out okay!
Cops here are USELESS. Had two run ins - one ticket where he screamed at me for over 20 minutes refueling to let me go - for turning right on a no turn. Sign was TINY.
Had my car broken into in Hull bay buy Kim and her mess of children - cops REFUSED to come down to hull bay to file a report. "no one can come down there" so I had to take CRUISE GUESTS to the police station. Yea great way to keep our tourism alive.
Also had a second break in and the woman cops refused to even get out of the car. Sat in AC with the windows up only rolling it down to pass me info to sign.
USELESS!!!!!!!!!!! I see them on their cells clearly not on work calls, at the salon getting nails done, getting groceries (and booze) too many times to count. I do not know but I thought you couldn't run personal errands in uniform. Maybe I am wrong but it just looks super unprofessional. Not to be nasty but I literally don't see how many of them pass the yearly fitness assessments. It's embarrassing. I am sure theres GREAT VIPD but I have never run into any.
Those are all STT -
When our car was stolen on STX they didn't even write down ALL OUR STATEMENT! We got the statement and it was like clifnotes version and missing all the important facts. Its one reason our case has been in small claims for OVER A YEAR.
My advice - if you value your sanity - don't work on our PD. You will likely go insane with the lack of giving AF by our PD. Good luck, you will need it lol.
I agree with AandA! I've had cops, twice, pull into my drive and honk. I went out and they wanted to know if my address was such and so. Nope, only 4 houses on that ridge, all numbered btw, and they couldn't even find where they were supposed to go.
Had someone steal my purse off my shoulder in 1995 in downtown C'sted and "try" and use my ATM card. The bank gobbled it up and I took tape to PD and did they do anything about that? No! That kid was probably his next door neighbor's nieces daughter's boyfriend's sister's cousin.
Police here do not use turn signals when turning. Yes, there are a few, very few, who care about their job and do it well. But, I'd be so frustrated working with the PD here in the VI.
hawleycs: The OP posted in 2008 and I don't believe ever came back with follow up. I have not the experience that AandA2VI has had, but I have been yelled at by a policeman for putting my feet up on the seat in front of me on the ferry. Oh, and I got a ticket for making a right turn in front of a speeding car that was hidden by a hill. (The other driver didn't have a license or registration. My car was totaled and the judge threw out the ticket.)
I would definitely suggest you come for a visit and talk with some of the current officers and observe their methods. Good luck!
The best protection in VI is a pair of runners and S&W in your pocket.
My nephew called cops due to horrific domestic violence, attempted murder next door. He was totally ignored. Next day we had to drive to the station to pick up two detectives as they could not follow directions to the house. We have no working addresses here BTW.
Local PD is useless and total embarrassment. They cherish their cruisers and high speed driving but are totally ineffective. Any service run by local gov in VI is a total embarrassment and a third world.
Hopefully they will get some off island officers. Mapp sent some off to New York for training. One I know of moved off island and I suppose got job stateside. Most important is people need to report what they see and hear. So much retaliation shootings. Every time you read about one, they say they don't know who shot them. A couple of weeks later, that person is shot. This has got to stop!!
How many of these posters would be happy with the police if they lived anywhere else? Let’s face it, some people don’t like law enforcement of any kind, any where.
Im not saying the VIPD is a completely squared away government agency. Let’s face it, there’s no such thing as a squared away government agency... anywhere. Obviously police officers in Alabama are treated worse (35-40%less pay) than VI officers.
If your already a police officer, your already aware of political influence. Unfortunately it comes with the territory... whether in the states, or in a territory.