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Charlotte Amalie
Tuesday, August 16, 2022
HomeNewsArchivesHow Can We Address the Lawlessness?

How Can We Address the Lawlessness?

Dear Source:
I believe the lawlessness we are experiencing in our community is symptomatic of the greater disease that is afflicting this community. It is as we are destined to fulfill the prophecies of old. We are immersed in a sea of immorality and consequently the waves of lawlessness. As a colony of the greater United States of America, we are subject and subjected to the effects of the decadence of the western civilization of which we are a part, willing or not. But as a small outpost, a community of less than 200,000 inhabitants we should be able to take some control of what is happening in and to our community. Providing there is the will in enough residents to stand up and be counted by resisting the evil practices of our day and by promoting justice through law and order.
Do we really want a safe community? A community where we can trust our neighbors? A community where we feel safe from predators and other criminal elements? Are we willing to do what any intelligent community would do to ensure their safety, by banding together? We have a democratic type government where the people, the governed, is in control of their government through elected and appointed representatives, we need to take control of our government. We need to let the elected and appointed public servants know what we expect of them and demand better performance. We have laws but they mean very little if they are not obeyed or enforced by the designated authorities. We have to start the process by demanding that the present administration carry out their duties in a faithful and exemplary manner. Democracy works best with the consistent involvement of the citizens.
We need to have an overseer for our law enforcement agencies. I would recommend that we consider establishing the office of an Inspector General for Law Enforcement in the territory. This office will overseer all law enforcement of our government and report it's findings and recommendations to the executive branch and the legislative branch of our government. The office could consist of the Inspector General and two assistants and two officer managers, one each per district. The office will be autonomous in the sense that once established and the qualified personnel assigned they can only be removed for cause by the courts. All personnel would be career persons. The Inspector General would be appointed for ten consecutive years but the other personnel would be career persons cleared through the government personnel system. The purpose of the office is to oversee the compliance of the agencies with their statutory responsibilities of enforcing our laws.
Presently we have a law enforcement crisis, there is high degree of lawlessness. We appear to have an epidemic but I fear it is becoming endemic. That is very sad, that residents can no longer feel secure in public nor in the privacy of their residence. The VI Police Department is our first line of protection against lawlessness but it appears not to be able to cope with the high incidences of crime and traffic violations. We need to seriously consider ways to improve our police department. Improving the quality of the personnel by better selection, training and supervision. Proper supervision includes proper deployment of available personnel and regular inspection by supervisors. Supplement the regular police force with the Police Auxiliary and a Volunteer Police Corp. There are residents out there willing to help, providing we provide them with proper leadership. Leadership they can trust and respect.
J. J. Estemac
St. Thomas

Editor's note: We welcome and encourage readers to keep the dialogue going by responding to Source commentary. Letters should be e-mailed with name and place of residence to source@viaccess.net.

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Dear Source:
I believe the lawlessness we are experiencing in our community is symptomatic of the greater disease that is afflicting this community. It is as we are destined to fulfill the prophecies of old. We are immersed in a sea of immorality and consequently the waves of lawlessness. As a colony of the greater United States of America, we are subject and subjected to the effects of the decadence of the western civilization of which we are a part, willing or not. But as a small outpost, a community of less than 200,000 inhabitants we should be able to take some control of what is happening in and to our community. Providing there is the will in enough residents to stand up and be counted by resisting the evil practices of our day and by promoting justice through law and order.
Do we really want a safe community? A community where we can trust our neighbors? A community where we feel safe from predators and other criminal elements? Are we willing to do what any intelligent community would do to ensure their safety, by banding together? We have a democratic type government where the people, the governed, is in control of their government through elected and appointed representatives, we need to take control of our government. We need to let the elected and appointed public servants know what we expect of them and demand better performance. We have laws but they mean very little if they are not obeyed or enforced by the designated authorities. We have to start the process by demanding that the present administration carry out their duties in a faithful and exemplary manner. Democracy works best with the consistent involvement of the citizens.
We need to have an overseer for our law enforcement agencies. I would recommend that we consider establishing the office of an Inspector General for Law Enforcement in the territory. This office will overseer all law enforcement of our government and report it's findings and recommendations to the executive branch and the legislative branch of our government. The office could consist of the Inspector General and two assistants and two officer managers, one each per district. The office will be autonomous in the sense that once established and the qualified personnel assigned they can only be removed for cause by the courts. All personnel would be career persons. The Inspector General would be appointed for ten consecutive years but the other personnel would be career persons cleared through the government personnel system. The purpose of the office is to oversee the compliance of the agencies with their statutory responsibilities of enforcing our laws.
Presently we have a law enforcement crisis, there is high degree of lawlessness. We appear to have an epidemic but I fear it is becoming endemic. That is very sad, that residents can no longer feel secure in public nor in the privacy of their residence. The VI Police Department is our first line of protection against lawlessness but it appears not to be able to cope with the high incidences of crime and traffic violations. We need to seriously consider ways to improve our police department. Improving the quality of the personnel by better selection, training and supervision. Proper supervision includes proper deployment of available personnel and regular inspection by supervisors. Supplement the regular police force with the Police Auxiliary and a Volunteer Police Corp. There are residents out there willing to help, providing we provide them with proper leadership. Leadership they can trust and respect.
J. J. Estemac
St. Thomas

Editor's note: We welcome and encourage readers to keep the dialogue going by responding to Source commentary. Letters should be e-mailed with name and place of residence to source@viaccess.net.