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Charlotte Amalie
Tuesday, May 21, 2024


"Irresponsible" is how Police Commissioner Franz Christian characterized comments made a week ago by a police union leader that officers planned to tell tourists they aren’t safe in the territory.
Speaking on a WSTX radio talk show on Saturday, Christian criticized the comments made by St. Thomas Police Benevolent Association president Elroy Raymo. On June 30, Raymo stated that visitors to the territory are unsafe because of the Turnbull administration’s "neglect of the police."
"I cannot and will not compromise the safety of this territory in any fashion," Christian said in response.
During a police protest on St. Thomas on June 30, Raymo said that if the administration didn’t meet the union at the negotiating table soon and raise salaries, officers would "demonstrate in front of the tourists to let them know that the government has no regard for their safety by its neglect of the police."
Christian said he agrees that officers throughout the territory deserve raises, but the unions must recognize the financial plight of the government. Even though working conditions and supplies are lacking, he said, he believes that law enforcement is up to snuff. In fact, he said, crime is down in the territory overall.
The police commissioner said there has been a "significant decrease" in crime recently on St. Croix, but a "slight" increase on St. Thomas. "Overall, the daily statistics . . . indicate clearly that criminal activity is on the decrease," he said.
Gov. Charles W. Turnbull has said that before negotiating with the police unions he will deal with teachers and health workers.
Meanwhile, Christian said workers in the Motor Vehicles Bureau on St. Croix will continue on abbreviated schedules until upgrades are made to their offices. The bureau is housed in trailers which were supposed to be temporary after Hurricane Hugo in 1989.

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