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Working Together to Stop Crime

Dear Source:

It is clear that the newly organized VIPD CIT Group on St. John will be different!
Thank You Helen Simon for your Leadership here.
The previous Administration was more focused on creating positive PR for The Police to coincide with the unrealistic "24-7" motto prematurely developed and established.
Without dealing with the internal management issues-and esp. customer service and communication skills it simply "couldn't fly" on St. John.
In fact-as a very active member-I would say that much more responsibility was put on the community to solve safety issues than on the VIPD.
It was not able to survive CIT citizen's respect or continuance and consequently, it naturally fell apart.
Now-we have a chance to "fire it up" again-and make it work for the good of us all-to get to the real issues of a successful Community-Police Partnership, so we can move forward in solving crime-together. This is a must do!
Let's all remember that all partnerships are based on developing a sense of trust.
We know the issues that have made our relationship with the VIPD in the past falter-the greater need for clearer communication and better customer training between the citizens and the Police.
Citizens and Police both working together are the very best tools we have to minimize crime-and we have the exact same goals.
This is a relationship that we must make work; and a new attitude of "what can I do to help make this relationship work" must be developed between us.
It would be fair to say that many officers who come from St. Thomas to work on St. John must have a certain amount of "hesitation" in working here.
We tend to be a very vocal group. We have been quite clear, and right, in our requests for better customer service and response from our Police.
Besides suggesting what needs to be changed to promote better Police service let's also think of how we can extend ourselves as Community Members to help this relationship become more positive.
I suggest that Community Members consider initiating appreciation to those officers for their service to our Community when you see a new face in uniform esp. if they are doing their job well.
All it takes is a smile, a handshake and a "Thank You for your service to our Community" to start a more positive relationship with these officers. (Don't be surprised if the Officer looks confused….he/she really will appreciate it more than you realize!)
Thankfully, there is now new leadership in the VIPD with an emphasis on Team Management and Community Policing based on building positive relationships in the Community. The former Police approach of authoritarian confrontation to everyone is simply not as effective.
We need committed individuals-whether Police Officers or citizens working towards the same goal with clear communication and honesty in problem-solving; and most importantly, solutions and implementations for change.
The time is ripe to make this partnership successful to the future of St. John-it can; it will and it must be done!
Our entire VIPD Team in key Leadership positions will be at St. Ursula Center on St. John on July 18th. at 5:30. I hope that it is packed with Community Members who care about our Island and solving our crime issues-and are willing to work together to help move us forward.
Bonny Corbeil
St. John

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