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Charlotte Amalie
Thursday, June 20, 2024


June 3, 2003 – Spurred by school vandalism in general and last weekend's break-in at Ivanna Eudora Kean High School in particular, Lt. Gov. Vargrave Richards announced plans on Tuesday for a pilot project that will utilize surveillance cameras to monitor vulnerable school areas outside of classroom hours.
The cameras will be installed at a school on St. Croix that is not being identified, "for strategic reasons," Richards said in a release issued by his office.
"The cameras will not be operational during school hours, but will be monitored from a different location during the hours schools are closed," he said.
Richards said the project will be funded with $26,400 donated by four Economic Development Commission beneficiary companies on St. Croix.
Global Capital Advisors, Azimuth Trust, James River Capital Corp. and Shoreline Management Group are the contributors. The release said support was also provided by the St. Croix Foundation for Community Development.
Richards also expressed appreciation to ASI Caribbean for donating nine security cameras in addition to the 10 purchased with funding from the other four companies.
For security reasons, "the details of the equipment cannot be released," the release stated, but officials of ASI Caribbean, which is installing the gear, said the school chosen for the pilot project "will be monitored by highly sensitive 'virtual surveillance camera guards' with the ability to detect any motion."
While numerous schools in the territory have been vandalized, many of them repeatedly, Saturday's break-in at Eudora Kean on St. Thomas on St. Thomas was especially jarring because in addition to smashing computer monitors and destroying an American flag, the vandals made off with 110 firearms, including 90 Springfield rifles, utilized in the school's Junior ROTC program. The firing pins had been removed from the rifles, authorities said, and anyone trying to adjust the firearms could end up hurting themselves or someone else.
"As a former teacher at Elena Christian Junior High and as [an] advocate against violence and disruptions in schools, I am disheartened by the repeated break-ins and loss of vital equipment," Richards said. "I believe that it is everyone's responsibility to become pro-active and am pleased that four EDC beneficiaries responded to my request for assistance."
At the end of a year, the project will be evaluated, Richards said, after which "it may be expanded, maintained or dropped."

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