March 4, 2004 – The territory now has an assistant police commissioner for the first time in nearly nine months, and one who comes to the position under unique circumstances.
James H. McCall's appointment to the post was announced on Thursday by Gov. Charles W. Turnbull in a Government House release. It stated that McCall will be working in the territory on loan from the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, and "at no cost to the V.I. government."
Most recently, according to the release, McCall served as the "loaned executive" of the Combined Federal Campaign, an annual fund-raising drive among federal employees and military personnel that's similar to United Way drives. He managed the contributions of the Homeland Security Department's 20,000 employees while at the same time serving on the ATF executive director's staff as ombudsman.
Previously, he was acting special agent in charge of the ATF's largest field division, in Charlotte, N.C. He began his law-enforcement career as a Houston police officer, joined ATF in 1984, and in 1989 was named to the Armed Criminal Enforcement Study detail in Washington, D.C., to curtail gang-related violent homicides in the federal district.
He was named an original member of the ATF Special Response Team in 1990 and in 1991 was assigned to the Virgin Islands field office, "where he worked with the local police in firearms and arson investigations to help formulate the VIPD gun squad designed to curtail the trafficking of illegal firearms into the territory," the release stated.
McCall, who will be based in the St. Thomas-St. John district, succeeds Bruce Hamlin, who retired last June 30.
According to the release, Turnbull made the decision to name McCall to the No. 2 police position "following consultation with Police Commissioner Elton Lewis."
The release further stated: "Gov. Turnbull said that after several months of negotiations by Commissioner Lewis, he agreed that McCall brings a host of experience to the Police Department."
The governor said McCall's strengths include an understanding of homeland security issues, expertise in the field of weapons and explosives, management skills and a strong relationship with the federal government.
Turnbull said he is "satisfied" that McCall's knowledge, background and "ability to keep pace with modern policing practices will greatly assist Commissioner Lewis in the administration of our Police Department."
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