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Sunday, August 14, 2022
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People Should Elect the Police Commissioner

Dear Source:

I am very happy to see that I can find the murder rates in the V.I. since 1999. Since I sent in the article to you, I have begun an initiative to have both our police commissioner and attorney general be elected positions. As evidenced by the alarmingly high murder rates over the past 7 going on 8 years, this is out of control and the present police commissioner does not seem to care that it is apparently spiraling out of control. So long as both the police commissioner answer directly and only to the governor of the Virgin Islands, where does the incentive come to actually protect the people of the Virgin Islands. This current governor has shown how he is almost AFRAID to fire people who exhibit questionable job performances or an almost lack of caring for the job. These positions are supposed to be there to protect the safety and well being of the general public, but instead they seem as though they are only interested in covering their collective butts and making sure the governor is safe. Do we not count? Almost every state within the Union elects their attorney general and in several international countries as well. Though certain counties in the States elect Sheriffs as opposed to Police Commissioners, there is a growing sentiment among the people to see about having this position become elected as well. The stench of political cronyism is becoming so apparent, that people are beginning to have a natural distrust of the police department.
Especially since the response, or lack thereof, I have received from the police department concerning Francisco Martinez's death in 2004 – which by the way will be two years this Friday, I feel obligated to his memory but for all the others to do something that will hopefully help to bring about a change in our public safety policy. We need a commissioner who will do more than write articles in the newspaper and give super inflated speeches about his 'progress' in solving crimes, but in the same token has absolutely NOTHING to show for it, except the ever increasing rise in unsolved homicides within the territory. This is a very morose group to belong to, the survivors of unsolved homicide victims. And the numbers are steadily increasing each year. I can only hope that by starting this initiative and ensuring that it passes, we will begin to see a trust come back into the police department and department of justice. I can only hope that both the police department and department of justice will become extremely pro-active in solving the territory's increasing number of cold cases and be able to give closure to families such as mine who are left shattered and broken.
Thank you for allowing me a place where I can have access to this information and a place where I can bring light to this subject as well.

Yoki Hanley
St. Croix

Editor's note: We welcome and encourage readers to keep the dialogue going by responding to Source commentary. Letters should be e-mailed with name and place of residence to source@viaccess.net.

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