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Auxiliary Police Finalists Set to Begin Training

May 20, 2008 — After making it through an extensive vetting process, 25 of the district's best and brightest must now see if they have what it takes to get through 16 weeks of intense training on their way to becoming the newest set of auxiliary police officers.
Beginning their second day of training Tuesday, the recruits for the St. Thomas-St. John District learned the basics, including how to salute their commanding officers and do various other drill commands. Within the first 10 minutes the group was able to move in unison, keeping their hands and feet as sharp as possible while doing the movements. Exercises such as push-ups and pull-ups were also part of the regimen.
"It's no secret that we have a shortage of manpower in the police department, and this group of 25 part-time officers will really be helping us out," said Sgt. Elton Grant, supervisor at the Ivan A. Williams Police Academy on St. Thomas. "These individuals will be working four hours in the evening, Monday through Friday, then from 5 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturdays. We're going to be working hard and will be putting them through the same kind of training as our regular officers, and hopefully they'll be ready to hit the streets in August."
Training for recruits on St. Croix began Tuesday.
As with any new recruit, the auxiliary officers will have to be accompanied by a senior officer during their first year on the job.
"After that, who knows what will happen?" Grant said. "Because they will have the same training and certification as regular officers, these recruits can choose to continue their service on the force. Many of them have already indicated that they might want to do so. We have a really excited, motivated group of volunteers here, and we're confident that they will go far."
Many recruits said they were nervous on their first day, but are working to overcome their feelings as they continue on the path to "protecting and serving" the community.
"I always wanted to help somebody, anybody in the community, especially our younger generation," said auxiliary officer Juanita Weston. "This is the beginning of that process for me. On my first day, I was scared, and the experience was a bit painful and tiresome, but I still got through it. This is a very good experience because it gets you ready for anything that can come at you. It teaches you to be mentally ready, physically strong and how to socialize and cooperate with your peers."
Others, such as auxiliary officer Lisa Gamble-Donovan, said she joined the auxiliary program to give back to the community and set a good example for her son Kaseam, who aspires to be in law enforcement.
"I wanted to show him that if I can do it, he can do it," Gamble-Donovan said. "It just takes a lot of hard work and discipline."
Retired New York police officer Wayne Brandt said he came to the territory after 27 years of serving on the mainland to "enjoy the sun and the sand."
"Since I've been here, I've had positive interactions with members of the V.I. Police Department, and saw this program advertised and I thought I would be able to assist in some fashion," Brandt said. "So far, it's been good — very professional."
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May 20, 2008 -- After making it through an extensive vetting process, 25 of the district's best and brightest must now see if they have what it takes to get through 16 weeks of intense training on their way to becoming the newest set of auxiliary police officers.
Beginning their second day of training Tuesday, the recruits for the St. Thomas-St. John District learned the basics, including how to salute their commanding officers and do various other drill commands. Within the first 10 minutes the group was able to move in unison, keeping their hands and feet as sharp as possible while doing the movements. Exercises such as push-ups and pull-ups were also part of the regimen.
"It's no secret that we have a shortage of manpower in the police department, and this group of 25 part-time officers will really be helping us out," said Sgt. Elton Grant, supervisor at the Ivan A. Williams Police Academy on St. Thomas. "These individuals will be working four hours in the evening, Monday through Friday, then from 5 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturdays. We're going to be working hard and will be putting them through the same kind of training as our regular officers, and hopefully they'll be ready to hit the streets in August."
Training for recruits on St. Croix began Tuesday.
As with any new recruit, the auxiliary officers will have to be accompanied by a senior officer during their first year on the job.
"After that, who knows what will happen?" Grant said. "Because they will have the same training and certification as regular officers, these recruits can choose to continue their service on the force. Many of them have already indicated that they might want to do so. We have a really excited, motivated group of volunteers here, and we're confident that they will go far."
Many recruits said they were nervous on their first day, but are working to overcome their feelings as they continue on the path to "protecting and serving" the community.
"I always wanted to help somebody, anybody in the community, especially our younger generation," said auxiliary officer Juanita Weston. "This is the beginning of that process for me. On my first day, I was scared, and the experience was a bit painful and tiresome, but I still got through it. This is a very good experience because it gets you ready for anything that can come at you. It teaches you to be mentally ready, physically strong and how to socialize and cooperate with your peers."
Others, such as auxiliary officer Lisa Gamble-Donovan, said she joined the auxiliary program to give back to the community and set a good example for her son Kaseam, who aspires to be in law enforcement.
"I wanted to show him that if I can do it, he can do it," Gamble-Donovan said. "It just takes a lot of hard work and discipline."
Retired New York police officer Wayne Brandt said he came to the territory after 27 years of serving on the mainland to "enjoy the sun and the sand."
"Since I've been here, I've had positive interactions with members of the V.I. Police Department, and saw this program advertised and I thought I would be able to assist in some fashion," Brandt said. "So far, it's been good -- very professional."
Back Talk Share your reaction to this news with other Source readers. Please include headline, your name and city and state/country or island where you reside.