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HomeNewsArchivesSMALL ISLAND CAN'T AFFORD BIG VIOLENT CRIME

SMALL ISLAND CAN'T AFFORD BIG VIOLENT CRIME

Dear Source,
There is no doubt that violence in our society is everywhere, no island, state or country is free of this disease. And every place deals with it in different ways, even stateside certain cities, counties and towns each deal with it in different ways, some more aggressive than others. However when you're a small island and rely almost totally on tourism it has to be dealt with very aggressively. St Thomas, " Americas Paradise ," has to do this or it stands to lose millions in revenue from a business that's already seen a decline the past 10 years.
I was a teenager when I moved to St Thomas in 1986, I had grown up in a small town in New Jersey that was totally oblivious to anything more serious than maybe a bicycle being stolen. Within two months of living on the island I watched as a man ran down the waterfront with a machete in his hand – the police not far behind — and as he stopped the bullets flew killing him dead on the waterfront in front of me.
Three years later and just feeling comfortable living there I was exposed to one of the most heinous crimes ever when my girlfriend's mother was gunned down by three robbers at her hotel. Something that has scarred my life as well as many others forever.
I left St Thomas not long after that only to learn that another friend was also paralyzed by a bullet in a robbery of a bar in Mafolie. I could only sit down and wonder how this woman's life was changed forever that night.
This June brings my first return to Americas Paradise in nine years, for Antilles Schools 50th reunion. My excitement grows everyday as I think about coming back to the white sand, the crystal clear water and the tropical breeze to see friends that I haven't seen in a very long time.
The beautiful sunsets on the island and the down island views are something that would bring peace and relaxation to anyone.
St Thomians, you have to learn how to at least reduce your crime and your corruption. You're a tiny island that relies on millions of people from all over the world and they're watching and listening to what's going on down there. And they all communicate with each other about it.
Geoffrey Kennedy, you're to be admired for being so strong willed. You have a lot of friends who are pulling for you, I wish you the best of luck.
Chris Williams
Philadelphia, Pa.

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