April 6, 2004 – The Motor Vehicle Bureau facility at the Police Department's Patrick Sweeney Headquarters is once again operating on a full-time basis, according to a release issued on Tuesday evening.
"The restoration of the computer system has been completed," Police Commissioner Elton Lewis said in the release, and bureau personnel are "available to serve you."
Lawrence Olive, Motor Vehicle Bureau director, had said on Monday that the St. Croix facility was completely closed down because of computer problems. He said repair efforts were under way but that he had "no idea" when the system would be up and running again.
"To assist those who may have experienced any problems" with getting their vehicle registration taken care of while the computer system was down, the release said, the St. Croix bureau facility will open at 8 a.m. Wednesday "and will extend its operations for the day."
The release did not state how late the facility would remain open. Efforts to obtain that information on Tuesday evening were not successful. The Patrick Sweeney number is 778-2211.
Thursday, Friday and Monday are V.I. government holidays.
The release said motorists seeking to register their vehicles or renew their drivers' licenses should take with them their expiring or expired registration certificates or licenses, along with up-to-date insurance cards and "proper identification."
Lewis said in the release that the Police Department is "continuing its efforts to improve the Motor Vehicle Bureau as quickly as possible." He noted that he has sought input "from the business community, the American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators and others on how to make improvements which will enable MVB to deliver the best service available to the motoring public of St. Croix."
Sen. Adlah "Foncie" Donastorg has a bill in the works in the Legislature that would spin the Motor Vehicle Bureau off from the Police Department and make it a separate department. He says the department would "be able to pay its own bills, pay employees and fix its equipment without going through so much red tape." And the change, he said, would "allow the police to focus on law enforcement and protecting citizens, letting them do what they are supposed to do."
Olive expressed support for Donastorg's proposal on Monday, saying that functioning as a separate department would "take us out of all the problems we've been encountering." (See "Motor Vehicles chief likes department idea".)
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