I agree with the comments by Bonny Corbeil, that only through the continued cooperation between the Police Department and the Community that it serves that crime will be brought under control. If the Community does not come forward to give the information they have, then the Police can't solve the crimes. It is very easy for those who have never been in law enforcement to say, "You know who did, so arrest them!". What is not easy is for those Police Officers that know who did it to go in front of a judge and a jury and get a conviction without the evidence and most importantly without the testimony of the witnesses.
The same way attracting tourists to our Islands has to be a joint public-private venture, so to must it be a joint public-private effort to solve crimes, and more importantly to prevent them from happening. Only through community efforts can we deter the criminals from destroying our communities. Whether in the Virgin Islands or in Washington, D.C., or in New York City, or Alaska, it is only through community involvement and community policing that our neighborhoods can once again be safe places for our children.
Some cities have established programs to provide housing for Police Officers, free or at a reduced rate, to reside in housing communities with high crime rates. These programs have helped establish community oriented policing, after school programs, neighborhood crime watches, and other programs that have helped reduce and in some cases almost completely eliminated the criminal activity that once plagued those housing communities.
Since Commissioner Lewis took over the Virgin Islands Police Department, there have been many improvements that are visible to those who open their eyes and seek to compliment rather than continue to bring down our own people. If all we talk about is the bad things then no one sees the good. It only takes one bad action by one Police Officer to brand the whole Department as being bad. Point out what is wrong but include a solution. Better yet, become a part of the solution.
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