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Tuesday, February 7, 2023
HomeNewsArchivesWhy Did These Senators Vote Against the Peace Officer Status Bill?

Why Did These Senators Vote Against the Peace Officer Status Bill?

An open letter to Sen. James, Sen. Hansen, Sen. Nelson, Sen. Richards, Sen. Sprauve, Sen. Williams and Sen. Millin-Young.

Dear Senators,

Another weekend has passed, and we have lost another young man, Jake Bierowski, to senseless gun violence. No one can answer the question why he was shot.

My question to Sen. James, Sen. Hansen, Sen. Nelson, Sen. Richards, Sen. Sprauve, Sen. Williams and Sen. Millin-Young is, why did you vote against the Peace Officer Status Bill?

Why would anyone refuse help fighting crime on these islands? Do you gain personally by voting against this bill? Some of you have been quoted as saying you don’t want the federal agents here because they are rude and disrespectful. You are all big people; respect the fact that the feds may know what they are doing. What you may view as rude and disrespectful is just an honest person doing a good job protecting all of the people in the USVI and the U.S. as a whole.

Let’s ask the owners of Eat at Cane Bay and their patrons if the robbers were rude and disrespectful, or Ecliff James, who was shot in cold blood at Club 54, or Jake Bierowski, who was shot in his home. These same people that terrorized and robbed Eat at Cane Bay also ambushed Chief of Police Christopher Howell and Officer Ellsworth Jones. That is pretty rude and disrespectful.

To all the senators that voted against the Peace Officers Status Bill, do you have a better solution? And if so, what is your solution to fight crime in the USVI? If you do not have a solution, then you are part of the problem.

There is no way that the USVI economy can improve until we bring the crime rate down. Public safety is the foundation on which to build a sound economy. People are afraid to go out at night. Why would anyone want to go out to dinner when there is a possibility that they could be robbed at gun point and their life be endangered? This is destroying the tourism industry, and all of the other businesses and employees that depend on tourism for their livelihood. New businesses will not invest the time and money to come to an area that is controlled by criminals.

The weekend that Chief Howell was shot made national news. How can the Department of Tourism honestly promote the USVI as paradise, when this is the news coming out of the America’s paradise? Paradise is a place that is safe, fun, beautiful and carefree. The United States Virgin Islands no longer fits that description. We need help fighting crime, and we need it now!

Once again Sen. James, Sen. Hansen, Sen. Nelson, Sen. Richards, Sen. Sprauve, Sen. Williams and Sen. Millin-Young, please explain to me why you voted against the Peace Officer Status Bill, and exactly what your solution is to our crime problem. Those of you running for re-election in November will be asking for our vote. I am asking for your vote to pass the Peace Officer Status bill now. Thank you!

Kathy Cooke

St. Croix

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