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Death of Officer Leaves Void at Police Department

Jan. 11, 2005 – The body of Police Cpl. Joseph Bess was returned to St. Croix on Monday from San Juan where he was hospitalized. He died after a brief and sudden illness. Funeral services are on Thursday, beginning with a viewing at Government House at 9 a.m. A second viewing will be held at St. Patrick's Church in Frederiksted at noon, followed by services and internment at Kingshill Cemetery.
Cpl. Bess, a 27-year veteran of the police force, took ill on Dec. 29, following his regular work shift. He was immediately transported by ambulance to the Juan F. Luis Hospital and, after consultation and evaluation, was airlifted to a medical facility in San Juan, where he died on Jan. 4.
Bess' body arrived at the Earl E. Rohlsen airport at around 2 p.m. The body was met by a contingent of police officers including the Territorial Police Chief Novelle E. Francis, Jr. and Deputy Chief Herminio Velasquez, according to a press release issued by the department on Tuesday. The police department will conduct honors services for the former comrade.
"Cpl. Bess will be bestowed with all the rights and honors from the V.I. Police Department," Francis said.
James McCall, acting police commissioner, said the death of Bess "left a void in our lives" and he will be "missed for his dedication to his community, [and] his jovial nature."

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