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Police Address Crime Rumors, Prevention at Public Meeting

July 18, 2008 — While the meeting was called to organize neighborhood watches and recruit auxiliary police on St. John, police department top brass gave those who attended an earful on various topics — including rumors about off-island wrongdoers.
Putting to rest persistent rumors that criminals are coming from elsewhere to cause harm in the territory, Acting Police Commissioner Novelle Francis said that most of the criminals come from the territory.
"Most of the crime is perpetrated by our very own people," Francis told the more than 40 people gathered at St. Ursula's Multipurpose Center for the meeting.
Those criminals are getting bolder and more dangerous, with daylight incidents on the increase, Francis said. In 80 percent of crimes, drugs are involved in some way, he said.
As the police department has indicated for years, staffing remains an issue. However, recruiter Emmett Hansen III said recruiting is going well, with 14 out of the 16 police officer candidates in a recent class making it through training.
The department is in the midst of hiring off-island officers, who Hansen said will go through "lateral" training to bring them up to snuff on local police practices.
St. John resident Sis Frank said she worried that it will be another "load of people" who don't care about St. John residents and some of the "weird" people who live on the island.
Officers who are asking questions about the price of beer and the beaches won't get the job, Hansen said.
In discussing recruitment of auxiliary police officers, Hansen said applicants must be between ages 18 to 55, pass a background check and undergo training. They do not have to pass an entrance exam.
Applications are available at vipd.gov. vi — click on employment and then police auxiliary service — or Monday at the St. John police station.
Auxiliary officers will be assigned to work with a "sworn" officer.
"Especially for the later shifts," said St. John Deputy Police Chief Darren Foy.
Auxiliary police officers who live on St. John will be helpful in assisting sworn officers in locating various neighborhoods and streets, Foy noted. St. John residents have long complained that the officers assigned to St. John come from St. Thomas and can't find their way around.
Francis called on residents to organize neighborhood crime watches to help the police prevent and solve crimes.
"It's important that everyone get involved in crime prevention," he said.
Regarding what many St. John residents have called poor customer service from police officers, Francis said the issue was being addressed.
"We hear your cry and are putting on customer-service training," he said.
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July 18, 2008 -- While the meeting was called to organize neighborhood watches and recruit auxiliary police on St. John, police department top brass gave those who attended an earful on various topics -- including rumors about off-island wrongdoers.
Putting to rest persistent rumors that criminals are coming from elsewhere to cause harm in the territory, Acting Police Commissioner Novelle Francis said that most of the criminals come from the territory.
"Most of the crime is perpetrated by our very own people," Francis told the more than 40 people gathered at St. Ursula's Multipurpose Center for the meeting.
Those criminals are getting bolder and more dangerous, with daylight incidents on the increase, Francis said. In 80 percent of crimes, drugs are involved in some way, he said.
As the police department has indicated for years, staffing remains an issue. However, recruiter Emmett Hansen III said recruiting is going well, with 14 out of the 16 police officer candidates in a recent class making it through training.
The department is in the midst of hiring off-island officers, who Hansen said will go through "lateral" training to bring them up to snuff on local police practices.
St. John resident Sis Frank said she worried that it will be another "load of people" who don't care about St. John residents and some of the "weird" people who live on the island.
Officers who are asking questions about the price of beer and the beaches won't get the job, Hansen said.
In discussing recruitment of auxiliary police officers, Hansen said applicants must be between ages 18 to 55, pass a background check and undergo training. They do not have to pass an entrance exam.
Applications are available at vipd.gov. vi -- click on employment and then police auxiliary service -- or Monday at the St. John police station.
Auxiliary officers will be assigned to work with a "sworn" officer.
"Especially for the later shifts," said St. John Deputy Police Chief Darren Foy.
Auxiliary police officers who live on St. John will be helpful in assisting sworn officers in locating various neighborhoods and streets, Foy noted. St. John residents have long complained that the officers assigned to St. John come from St. Thomas and can't find their way around.
Francis called on residents to organize neighborhood crime watches to help the police prevent and solve crimes.
"It's important that everyone get involved in crime prevention," he said.
Regarding what many St. John residents have called poor customer service from police officers, Francis said the issue was being addressed.
"We hear your cry and are putting on customer-service training," he said.
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.