We need a Citizen's Review Board with serious teeth and we need it now. Watching the Senate stand around shuffling their feet, trying not to make eye contact with anyone, while they water down the bill that is stuck in committee enough to insure that it doesn't do what it is intended to do, is sickening.
It has become painfully obvious that the Virgin Islands Police Department has some serious problems. All it takes is a look at the stories over the past 5 years related to police officers to know that we have a huge problem and the people in charge aren't doing a darn thing about it. How does a police officer vanish without a trace on an island? Why are there so many unsolved crimes? Why are witnesses afraid to come forward? Why are police officers afraid to speak up? Why can't the shooters in several cases be arrested? You don't have to be a top investigator to figure out what's going on and it's time to do something about it.
We need a Citizen's Review Board, a tough one, sworn to secrecy and with the power to reach out and touch those that have been untouchable. Getting bogged down in arguments over union issues is ridiculous. This is about criminal activity. This is about the safety of the people of the Virgin Islands. This is about justice.
We have some excellent police officers and they need the help of a Citizen's Review Board with the intestinal fortitude to step up and stand beside them and they need it now. They need a safe place to relay information. They need the ability to report criminal activity with the assurance that the information will be protected and acted upon. Citizens need a safe and secure place to report problems and information. Give the public and our good police officers a safe secure place to report information and problems and you will see a drastic change in the crime rates in the Virgin Islands.
How far should this Citizen's Review Board reach? As far as it takes. We the people, those are very important words that seem to have been forgotten sometimes. We the people are the government, we have the power to change the Virgin Islands and we need to use that power. A Citizen's Review Board needs the power to reach out and touch police officials, regardless of rank. The Board needs to have the ability to follow a case through the Attorney General's Office and the Court. The Board needs the ability to ask for assistance from Federal Agencies if it is needed. We the people need to take back our government and stand beside our good police officers and officials.
It is time to step up Senators and move on a bill with serious teeth to establish a Citizen's Review Board. It's time to stand beside our good police officers and officials and stop the few that are making our islands unsafe. Stop shuffling your feet and for once put the phrase "not withstanding ."to a good use.
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