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Police Present and Patrolling in Coral Bay

Nov. 3, 2005 –– Deputy Police Chief Angelo Hill and Lt. Edmund I. Thompson, zone commander, shed no new light on Saturday's murder of David Geiger at a Thursday meeting in Coral Bay. They did give an update on police activities.
Hill said the investigation into the homicide and subsequent arson could take several weeks.
"A couple of weeks. That's a long time," said St. John resident Angela Ebner.
Hill explained the evidence goes to the FBI lab, which also must evaluate evidence from across the United States.
The two did explain some of the ins and outs of policing to the two dozen people gathered at the M&M Donkey Diner.
The meeting was sponsored by the Coral Bay Community Council to discuss the newly-opened Coral Bay police substation and residents' issues with the Police Department.
St. John resident Bonny Corbeil said the police have to undo the distrust of the Police Department that developed over many years because the department did not adequately respond to residents.
However, she said new, younger police officers are not part of the "way things were."
"We need to give the police an opportunity to show they've caught up with the times," Corbeil said.
Thompson, who declined to say how many officers are on duty in Coral Bay, said he had to shift people around from specialized units to staff the station.
He also said that his officers are public servants on the job to serve the public.
Thompson said that officers patrolling in police cars are now doing what he called blue light inspections –– driving slowly around the area with their roof lights flashing –– to deter criminals.
However, he told residents that they must also help themselves by doing things like installing windows that close instead of relying on screens only to keep out criminals.
Thompson said that crime has decreased since the recent spate of tensions that followed the alleged rape of Esther Frett on the island's East End.
"It's going down because there's more community involvement," he said.
After one woman complained about the runaround she got when she went to pick up a police report filed the previous day at the Coral Bay substation, Hill said that her treatment was unacceptable.
Hill also questioned why Superior Court does not have a representative on St. John to save residents a trip to St. Thomas when they need court assistance.
Thompson said he's enjoyed the positive response from Coral Bay residents. Laughing, he said he drove by Skinny Legs Bar and Restaurant three times with his blue light flashing because he got applause.
He told residents to continue to call 911 when they need the police because the operator can stay on the line to gather more information when a crime is in progress. Thompson also said the calls are recorded, which can be used as evidence in court.

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