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FYI: Donastorg Gives Speech on Public Safety

Oct. 12, 2006 – Good morning my fellow Virgin Islanders. This is your Senator and friend, Adlah "Foncie" Donastorg, A.F.D., here with you once more to share my thoughts and findings.
I would like to speak to you today about the Donastorg/Christian's specific plans to support police officers and increase public safety.
I would like to use the bulk of my time to discuss security, to include the specific measures that the Donastorg/Christian Administration will put into place. Protecting life and property is the primary duty of any Government, but we will not have peace on our streets until there is greater social and economic justice. Lack of opportunities and education create a void that will inevitably be occupied by crime and violence. We deserve better.
Dr. Christian and I will take a holistic approach to improving our security. Other candidates say they will put more officers on the streets, but what about addressing the root causes of crime and violence in our communities? We need more and better equipped police officers, but we also need vocational training programs, support for working parents, after school activities at every school campus and early intervention programs for juvenile offenders. We must address the cost of living issues that have parents working two of three jobs instead of raising their children.
And we must help rebuild public trust. The VIPD's own report indicates that the majority of serious crimes would be solved if people were willing to come forward. This report also promises a 20 percent reduction in burglaries, robberies and larcenies given the proper tools and policies. We will support the police in this crime reduction effort.
The Donastorg/Christian Team is committed to making our communities safer through resident/neighborhood participation programs, police/business partnerships, a better-equipped police force and marine patrols of our borders. We will institute a model of community-oriented policing, with power decentralized and services fully computerized.
Police chiefs will be appointed to serve on each island and given the authority to direct resources where most needed. Officers will be trained to work with community groups in order to establish strategies for handling neighborhood security and to develop plans for emergency and disaster response.
We will not only insist on salary increases for police officers, but we must also offer additional training to include wellness programs and stress management. Community-oriented policing will assist in increasing the level of trust residents have in our Police. Residents must feel more confident in their police in order to share sensitive information leading to more crimes solved.
It is clear that the Virgin Islands Police Department has not been given the tools to operate in the 21st Century. The Donastorg/Christian Administration will seek federal grants and reallocate resources for new equipment and training to include:

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