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FYI: Wesselhoft Pledges to Work with Administration on Crime

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Feb. 22, 2007 – Senator-at-Large Carmen Wesselhoft, Chairwoman of the 27th Legislature's Committee on Public Safety, Homeland Security and Justice, said Wednesday that she was pleased Government House had formalized its support for a Police Commissioner.
"We need strong leadership in place in the Department," she said. "It is important that the officers and the public know that the Governor is standing behind his nominee for this crucial position."
Wesselhoft has called for the appointment of a Police Commissioner since early January.
"We can now move ahead," she said. "I look forward to working with all the leadership at Public Safety. I pledge my total cooperation and support to their efforts."
Wesselhoft attended Governor John de Jongh's Wednesday morning press conference.
"I am pleased that the Administration is making public safety a priority and we are definitely on the same page in terms of many of the initiatives the Governor proposed," she said. "We are in full agreement about the need for a forensic lab, greater recruitment, improved technology and the reestablishment of the marine unit."
Wesselhoft has advocated for a state-of-the-art forensic lab and a police academy since entering the race for Senator-At-Large last fall. She said if the Administration follows through with its plans to recruit 200 officers the new academy will be essential.
"I hope I can count on the Executive Branch in supporting my plans for a police academy and forensic lab," she said. "Our officers can only be as good as the training and tools provided."
Wesselfhoft said she hopes that public safety will remain among the Administration's top priorities.
"As I have said, any Government's primary duty is to protect life and property," she said. "Everything else is truly secondary."
Wesselhoft will host three committee meetings on public safety beginning at 10 a.m. on Monday, February 26 on St. Thomas. Representatives from the Police Department, Fire Services, VITEMA, the Bureau of Corrections, the Port Authority, the Justice Department and the Superior Court have been invited to attend.
"We now have some new leadership in place and I am anxious to hear their plans in terms of fighting crime and preparing us for any type of emergency situation," Wesselhoft said. "This will be a general overview of operations."
The meetings will continue at 10 a.m. on February 28 on St. Croix and 10 a.m. on March 5 on St. John.
Subsequent meetings will be held for public input, but anyone with an immediate concern is urged to submit their comments in writing to Senator Wesselhoft's office. For more information call 693-3546.

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