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St. Croix Foundation Helping Police Officers Get Homicide Training

Sept. 1, 2008 — When V.I. Police Department officers need more training, bureaucracies have to be dealt with, deadlines met and funds acquired. Sometimes it takes a non-profit agency to make it happen, and that is where the St. Croix Foundation comes in.
"At the foundation we can move quickly," says Roger Dewey, executive director.
On Sept. 20 Detective Frankie Ortiz and Cpl. Fred Brathwaite of the V.I. Police Department will be in Albany, N.Y., attending the Henry F. Williams Seminar at the New York State Police Academy.
The course is designed to teach homicide detectives crime-scene management, forensic science, and legal and analytical techniques for homicide investigations. Some of the cases Ortiz and Brathwaite will analyze during the session include the Amish schoolhouse shooting in Pennsylvania in 2006, the Washington, D.C.-area sniper case in 2002 and the Medgar Evans murder case in Mississippi in 1963.
The five-day seminar covers areas of investigation such as forensic pathology, dentistry, entomology, anthropology, video enhancement, crime-scene reconstruction and the pharmacology of death.
"Course attendees have the opportunity to form personal and professional relationships which may be helpful in current or future investigations," says a news release from the foundation. "All participants in the Williams Course are included in an annually updated directory of Williams Associates, a valuable resource linking homicide detectives across the globe, and is an excellent networking tool."
The foundation works continuously to support the V.I. Police Department, Dewey says.
"We take public-safety issues seriously as an organization," he says. "We are serious about the health of our downtowns."
The foundation has funded the installation of surveillance cameras in Christiansted, Frederiksted and Charlotte Amalie, and is refurbishing them.
"More than a decade ago the cameras were installed due to a shortage of manpower on the force," Dewey says. "It is time to replace them."
The foundation has also contributed to keep the bicycle police peddling. This is done through the Foundation Community Police Partnership Fund.
"The foundation has also provided fingerprint training," Dewey says.
The training seminar was by invitation only, Sgt. Deborah Jack says.
"We chose one officer from the domestic-violence unit and one from criminal investigation homicide," Jack says.
Attendance at the Williams Seminar attracts homicide detectives from the United States, Canada and around the world. The foundation has secured an invitation for the VIPD each year since 2005. In this particular effort, the foundation received funding from Centerline Car Rental.
For more information, contact the St. Croix Foundation at 773-9898.
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