May 13, 2004 – With well-wishers from as far away as The Netherlands and Curaçao on hand, Health Commissioner Darlene Carty and Assistant Police Commissioner James McCall were sworn into office Thursday morning at Government House on St. Thomas.
"Today is a day culminated by a life-long dream," Carty, who at a young age dreamed of being Health commissioner, said, adding that she was "honored" to take the oath of office.
"It is an honor and a pleasure to serve as the assistant commissioner of the V.I. Police Department," McCall said in his brief acceptance speech. "I've received a lot from this community, and I feel I have something to give back."
Carty, who holds a master's degree in education from the University of the Virgin Islands, has15 years of experience in the fields of health, business and education. Her background includes having worked for the St. Thomas-St. John Hospital Facilities Corp. and the Health Department's Health Promotion and Disease Prevention Division.
It was members of her family who flew in from Holland and Curaçao to witness the swearing-in.
Carty said she sees "tremendous potential" within the Health Department and will work to unleash that potential with the aid of her executive team. "I shall proceed in my duties each day with courage, faith and pride," she said. "From this day forward, I promise to give this territory the very best of me."
And with the help of her staff, she added, "I have every confidence that we will accomplish great things."
McCall was named assistant Police commissioner in March, coming to the post on loan from the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and at no cost to the V.I. government. (See "Territory's New No. 2 Cop Is on Loan from Feds".)
He holds a bachelor's degree in communications from the University of Houston and a master's in psychology from Texan Southern University. He was assigned to the then-Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms Bureau's' V.I. field office from 1991 to 1994 and worked closely with the Police Department in firearms and arson investigations. He also was instrumental in designing the department's gun squad.
Police Commissioner Elton Lewis said Thursday that he feel "fortunate to have at my disposal the leadership" McCall represents. "I am confident that he can handle the responsibilities of his office," Lewis said.
Sen. Lorraine Berry, representing the 25th Legislature, congratulated the new officials.
"I have known Darlene Carty all my life, and I know she is a very organized and capable young lady who will get the job done," Berry said.
And she said that McCall's "psychology degree gives him an edge and the ability to work with different personalities," which she termed an important skill for his job.
"Today, we have sworn in two well-qualified individuals to serve in two vital departments," Gov. Charles W. Turnbull said. "When we have qualified leadership, we have progress."
The governor said Carty has pledged to give "priority attention" to addressing the pressing health issues of mental illness and HIV/AIDS.
"Another pressing issue confronting the territory is the growing concern of public safety," Turnbull said, adding that the "future well-being" of the economy and the territory's young people hinges on the ability to combat crime. He pledged his "full support" to the Police Department.
He also expressed outrage at the death of police officers, including most recently the death of St. Croix Officer Cuthbert Chapman. "We'll get all those who kill our police officers sooner or later," he said. "No stone will be left unturned in this quest, no matter how long it takes."
Share your reaction to this news with other Source readers. Please include headline, your name, and the city and state/country or island where you reside.
Publisher's note : Like the St. John Source now? Find out how you can love us twice as much — and show your support for the islands' free and independent news voice … click here.