Through the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP), the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) recently awarded $285,250 to the Virgin Islands Police Department (VIPD) for the Leander Jurgen Command Hurricane Wind Retrofit Project to mitigate the risks associated with hurricane winds and wind-driven rain.
The wind retrofit for the police station’s building will also include the installation of impact-resistant windows, wind-rated storm doors, hardened rooftop equipment, electrical/mechanical updates and the fitting of other necessary materials, following the United States Virgin Islands (USVI) newly adopted International Building Code (IBC 2018).
Commissioner Trevor Velinor said, “VIPD is grateful for the assistance of FEMA, as the HMGP funding helps with our hurricane preparedness. Officers can now respond to the needs of our community rather than being concerned about the Jurgen Command.”
The newly constructed station will meet the requirements of the180 m.p.h. Design Wind Speed for the USVI and the American Society of Civil Engineers statute 7-16 for wind risks relevant to critical facilities.
“Retrofitting the police command station on St. John will lessen the negative impact wind events can have on the effectiveness and efficiency of the VIPD,” said Adrienne L. Williams-Octalien, Office of Disaster Recovery director. “As the only police station on St. John, constructing a resilient facility is tantamount to ensuring timely responses before, during and after an event.”
Updating the Leander Jurgen Command and bringing it up to current building code standards will protect it from structural damage or failure and prevent the loss of costly equipment. Most importantly, these improvements will safeguard the lives of first responders in the event of a disaster and secure the continuity of critical functions of the police department.