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HomeNewsArchivesFYI: Committee Approves Public Safety Bills

FYI: Committee Approves Public Safety Bills

The following material is being published, unedited, exactly as it was received via e-mail from the office of the government official named below, as a Source community service. Government office holders wishing to contribute to the bulletin board must e-mail source@viaccess.net. The Source reserves the right to choose what is published.
May 24, 2007 – The Virgin Islands is one step closer to hiring more police officers, establishing a database for the DNA of sex offenders and creating the territory’s first laws on noise pollution.
The 27th Legislature’s Committee on Public Safety, Homeland Security and Justice approved three bills on Wednesday. The bills will move into the Rules Committee and are expected to be considered by the full body sometime in June.
Committee Chairwoman Carmen Wesselhoft said that the members of her committee were to be commended for working quickly to bring these important measures forward.
“I have pushed hard to ensure that we will get these bills to the floor as soon as is possible,” she said. “These are initiatives that the community needs and almost universally supports.”
Wesselhoft described the first bill on Wednesday’s agenda, No. 27-011, as her committee’s first major piece of legislation addressing crime. It includes provisions for the creation of a witness protection program and hiring 150 additional police officers.
“I was pleased to be a primary sponsor of this legislation as we are in dire need of additional officers,” she said. “The police simply aren’t able to respond at times because resources are stretched so thin. My ultimate goal is to see three or four additional substations established throughout the territory and we will need each station to be adequately staffed.”
Wesselhoft described Bill No. 27-0026, which prohibits unreasonable noise, as long overdue.
“There is literally nothing enforceable on the books when it comes to excessive noise,” she said. “It is time that the police be given the tools to help reestablish a level of respect for the residents of the community. We must be able to be at peace in our own homes.”
Numerous residents testified about disturbances from loud music, barking dogs, cement mixers, generators, bars and vehicles.
“It is clear to me that this is a widespread problem,” the Senator-at-Large said.
The Committee also considered Bill No. 27-0013, to create a Virgin Islands DNA Database and Databank.
Wesselhoft said the need for such a database was obvious.
“DNA evidence is one of the most useful tools in solving serious crimes,” she said. “We need to utilize all the technology available to us. I have another technology oriented bill coming, which will really bring our police department into the 21st century.”

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The following material is being published, unedited, exactly as it was received via e-mail from the office of the government official named below, as a Source community service. Government office holders wishing to contribute to the bulletin board must e-mail source@viaccess.net. The Source reserves the right to choose what is published.
May 24, 2007 - The Virgin Islands is one step closer to hiring more police officers, establishing a database for the DNA of sex offenders and creating the territory’s first laws on noise pollution.
The 27th Legislature’s Committee on Public Safety, Homeland Security and Justice approved three bills on Wednesday. The bills will move into the Rules Committee and are expected to be considered by the full body sometime in June.
Committee Chairwoman Carmen Wesselhoft said that the members of her committee were to be commended for working quickly to bring these important measures forward.
“I have pushed hard to ensure that we will get these bills to the floor as soon as is possible,” she said. “These are initiatives that the community needs and almost universally supports.”
Wesselhoft described the first bill on Wednesday’s agenda, No. 27-011, as her committee’s first major piece of legislation addressing crime. It includes provisions for the creation of a witness protection program and hiring 150 additional police officers.
“I was pleased to be a primary sponsor of this legislation as we are in dire need of additional officers,” she said. “The police simply aren’t able to respond at times because resources are stretched so thin. My ultimate goal is to see three or four additional substations established throughout the territory and we will need each station to be adequately staffed.”
Wesselhoft described Bill No. 27-0026, which prohibits unreasonable noise, as long overdue.
“There is literally nothing enforceable on the books when it comes to excessive noise,” she said. “It is time that the police be given the tools to help reestablish a level of respect for the residents of the community. We must be able to be at peace in our own homes.”
Numerous residents testified about disturbances from loud music, barking dogs, cement mixers, generators, bars and vehicles.
“It is clear to me that this is a widespread problem,” the Senator-at-Large said.
The Committee also considered Bill No. 27-0013, to create a Virgin Islands DNA Database and Databank.
Wesselhoft said the need for such a database was obvious.
“DNA evidence is one of the most useful tools in solving serious crimes,” she said. “We need to utilize all the technology available to us. I have another technology oriented bill coming, which will really bring our police department into the 21st century.”