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Reward Climbs to $20,000 for Cop Killer

July 14, 2008 — The Virgin Islands Retired Police Organization added $5,000 Monday to the reward for information leading to the arrest of retired police Sgt. Liston Gumbs' killer, and the Police Department tacked another $10,000 onto the $5,000 already offered, bringing the total to a substantial $20,000.
Gumbs was shot and killed July 7 when he tried to intervene in a store robbery. (See "Liston Gumbs Dies After Shooting Monday.")
At a press conference, the retired officers expressed their disappointment with the $5,000 sum that the VIPD initially put up for information about the killing.
VIRPO members said it was the first time that they had ever offered a reward, and that the money was drawn from their treasury.
"We hope our example will be emulated," said spokesman J.J. Estemac.
It apparently worked. In their own afternoon press conference, Acting Police Commissioner Novelle Francis said the department was adding another $10,000.
"That is an encouragement — we need to give a good incentive," Estemac said.
The retired officers also voiced a number of concerns about the state of policing in the territory and sought to make public their offers of assistance to the police department.
They want to help solve crimes, especially Gumbs' killing.
"We can solve it together," said George Patrick, a VIRPO member and former police lieutenant said. "Together, we can."
With over 70 members, VIRPO boasts hundreds of years of experience that the retirees said could be leveraged in mentoring, administrative positions, traffic control, repairing police vehicles — even as bodyguards to the governor.
The retirees pointed to the availability of federal funds for programs that could utilize their assistance and expertise, but they said their efforts to reach out to the department had been rebuffed.
But Francis noted that 15 retired officers were already back with the force.
"We welcome any and all assistance from the department's retired partners," he said.
While the amount is small in comparison with a recent $100,000 reward offered by the British Virgin Islands' government in connection with a death there, Francis felt that the increase would encourage individuals to come forward with information.
"We also want to reassure that those individuals will be provided protection," Francis said, promising to keep informant' identities confidential.
Those who would like to add to the reward for the arrest of Gumbs' killer may call J.J. Estemac of VIRPO at 774-0563 or send contributions to P.O. Box 305024, St. Thomas, VI 00803 or email jestemac@yahoo.com.
Editor;s note: The Source initially reported the reward was $25,000.
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July 14, 2008 -- The Virgin Islands Retired Police Organization added $5,000 Monday to the reward for information leading to the arrest of retired police Sgt. Liston Gumbs' killer, and the Police Department tacked another $10,000 onto the $5,000 already offered, bringing the total to a substantial $20,000.
Gumbs was shot and killed July 7 when he tried to intervene in a store robbery. (See "Liston Gumbs Dies After Shooting Monday.")
At a press conference, the retired officers expressed their disappointment with the $5,000 sum that the VIPD initially put up for information about the killing.
VIRPO members said it was the first time that they had ever offered a reward, and that the money was drawn from their treasury.
"We hope our example will be emulated," said spokesman J.J. Estemac.
It apparently worked. In their own afternoon press conference, Acting Police Commissioner Novelle Francis said the department was adding another $10,000.
"That is an encouragement -- we need to give a good incentive," Estemac said.
The retired officers also voiced a number of concerns about the state of policing in the territory and sought to make public their offers of assistance to the police department.
They want to help solve crimes, especially Gumbs' killing.
"We can solve it together," said George Patrick, a VIRPO member and former police lieutenant said. "Together, we can."
With over 70 members, VIRPO boasts hundreds of years of experience that the retirees said could be leveraged in mentoring, administrative positions, traffic control, repairing police vehicles -- even as bodyguards to the governor.
The retirees pointed to the availability of federal funds for programs that could utilize their assistance and expertise, but they said their efforts to reach out to the department had been rebuffed.
But Francis noted that 15 retired officers were already back with the force.
"We welcome any and all assistance from the department's retired partners," he said.
While the amount is small in comparison with a recent $100,000 reward offered by the British Virgin Islands' government in connection with a death there, Francis felt that the increase would encourage individuals to come forward with information.
"We also want to reassure that those individuals will be provided protection," Francis said, promising to keep informant' identities confidential.
Those who would like to add to the reward for the arrest of Gumbs' killer may call J.J. Estemac of VIRPO at 774-0563 or send contributions to P.O. Box 305024, St. Thomas, VI 00803 or email jestemac@yahoo.com.
Editor;s note: The Source initially reported the reward was $25,000.
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.