In response to the shooting of Police Officer Colvin Georges in the line of duty, the Police Department has formed a crisis intervention team to deal with similar incidents in the future, according to a VIPD news release issued Thursday.
Georges was shot May 26 while approaching a suspect at the Contant Car Wash on St. Thomas. Police returned fire and the suspect, Gerald Jackson, was killed.
Another officer, Aaron Hodge, was also injured in the shooting. He was released from the Schneider Regional Medical Center a few days after the incident.
“These officers are heroes,” Police Commissioner Henry W. White Jr. said in the statement. “They performed their duty bravely, and this department will support them with all available resources.”
In addition to the crisis intervention team, White has asked for assistance from the V.I. 100 Club, a Fund at the Community Foundation of the Virgin Islands that was established to lend financial assistance to officers critically wounded in the line of duty, and to the families of injured officers and officers who have died in the line of duty. The fund was created in 2005 and has assisted officers throughout the territory.
White, as well as St. Thomas Chief of Police Darren Foy and Sen. Carlton Dowe, recently visited Georges, who is receiving medical treatment in Florida.
“Officer Georges was critically injured in this unexpected tragedy,” White said. “He will require extensive and long-term rehabilitation.”
White said Georges’ family is very concerned with the mounting medical bills and other issues related to his recovery. To help, the commissioner assigned the directors of the VIPD human resources department and the Victim Witness Advocate program to be the family’s liaison and assist them in navigating the various government agencies and divisions.
“I wanted to assure Officer Georges that his fellow officers and the civilian staff in the entire territory are supporting him and praying for him,” Foy said.
The chief brought several greeting cards to Georges that were signed by police and civilians on all three islands. Foy said that since Georges is recovering so far away from home and the people that he knows, it’s important that he has contact with his family, friends and coworkers because a good attitude goes a long way in a person’s recovery process.
“It was very uplifting for him,” Foy said. “I read him all the cards and the personal notes written on them from the officers and civilians. He was very attentive. I could see he was pleased.”