I am congratulating the de Jongh/Francis administration for their response to the recommendations of the joint report from the federal and local Inspector General report concerning the alarming situation at the Schneider Regional Medical Center. However, I am concern that the corrective action to be taken by the administration, and hopefully the legislature would be thorough and not selective. We need a comprehensive review of all that went wrong and have an open public discussion of ways and means to avoid a repetition of such debacle. I am impressed with Gov. de Jongh effort to quickly replace some members of the board. I want to know what if anything the latest members appointed to the board knew of the misconduct of the board and the general condition of the medical center. Were they just passive onlookers that did not dare to ask relevant questions or they were there for the ride, to satisfy their egos of being on a government board.
The de Jongh/Francis administration needs to be more proactive in addressing the many community problems. High on the priority list should the public safety, education, the economy and health. I personally have spoken to the Governor and the Lt. Governor. In the conference they granted me I expressed my concerns and made definite recommendations. Concerning the situation in the Police Department, I mentioned the fact that the principal factor affecting the efficiency of the VIPD was the low morale due to poor leadership. That there are too many internal problems, a break down in proper police operation and the physical plants needed urgent attention. I am told roll call are held sporadically if at all. Physical inspection of officers and equipment seem to be something of past. The physical fitness standard is ignored the same as in-service training for the rank and file.
We just had some promotions recently into supervisory ranks. Are there any scheduled training for the new supervisors? Did the new police chiefs received any training or even orientation on their new assignments? And then we expect them to perform optimally? I remember former Governor Turnbull publicly stated that he was going to implement the law enforcement strategy that was adopted in New York city during Mayor Giuliani administration, that have been so successful. That strategy as I remember, was to enforce all laws and ordinances of the city, promoting a climate of law and orderliness. It never happen here and up to now it is not being implemented. The question is asked, why not? Does the Police Commissioner know and/or understand his statutory responsibilities and authority? Are the Police Chiefs appraised of their statutory duties and authority? I congratulate the police department on some recent arrests, in spite the conditions under which they are working. Keep faith, keep up the good works officers.
St. Thomas, V.I.
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 email@example.com.