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Flags at Half-Staff Tuesday for Fallen Police Officer

Feb. 19, 2007 — Gov. John de Jongh Jr. has directed that flags on all public buildings be flown at half-staff on Tuesday in honor of Police Officer Ariel Anton Frett's funeral.
Frett died on Feb. 8 from injuries sustained in a shooting incident in Hospital Ground.
A St. Thomas native, Frett was born May 24, 1954, to Jacob Frett. Sr. and Enid Rosita Williams-Frett. The second youngest of 12 children, he and his six brothers and five sisters were raised in the Hospital Ground area. He attended schools on St. Thomas, including the Thomas Jefferson School, Abraham Lincoln School, Wayne Aspinall and Charlotte Amalie High School. He later moved with his family to New York where, in 1972, he graduated from Forest Hills High School in Queens.
In 1974, Frett returned to St. Thomas and began learning auto-body repair, working alongside his older brother Jacob at Frett’s Garage in Hospital Ground. He soon became one of St. Thomas’s noted repairmen. In 1981, Frett traveled to California to further his auto-body repair career. He returned to St. Thomas in 1982 and began his law-enforcement career as an officer with the V.I. Police Department.
Frett served the VIPD with distinction for 25 years, receiving numerous letters of commendation and certificates for outstanding police work in the line of duty. With hundreds of in-service law enforcement training hours completed, he received special police assignments, according to a close friend.
A former member of the VIPD Street Crime Unit, Frett was subsequently assigned to the Investigation Bureau, the Communications Bureau and, in 1999, the Police Training Academy on St. Thomas.
In 2000, Frett received a letter of commendation from Sgt. Barrington Thomas, supervisor of the Training Academy, for his outstanding assistance with establishing the Training Academy as a site compatible with law enforcement training standards. He reveled in his role as a training officer and looked forward to his morning runs with the police recruits, spurring them on through the streets of the Sub Base area, past the University of the Virgin Islands and up Black Point Hill.
Retired VIPD Sgt. Luna James was Ariel’s supervisor when he got assigned to the Communications Bureau in 1995. They remained dear friends.
“Ariel’s life was centered on two things: his job and his children,” James said. “He was devoted to the job, he was dedicated. You could depend on him. If you got into a crisis and you needed an officer to back you up, you could depend on him. With Ariel, you never had to wonder if he had your back.”
Along with his duties as a police officer, Ariel was an entrepreneur and a jack-of-all-trades. He loved music, boxing, dancing and physical fitness. A naturalist at heart, he believed in traditional Caribbean cures and herbal remedies. In 2001, he ran the grueling 8 Tuff Miles road race on St. John, finishing within one minute of the top competitors in his age group.
He loved his family and pledged his life to protect and serve the people of the U.S. Virgin Islands.
Before his death, Frett had lost his parents, as well as a brother, Roy Sherman Frett, and a sister, Lee Esannoson. He is survived by three sons, Jamal, Kai, and Elon Frett; three daughters, Jeriaha Frett-Jenkins, Sommer and Kamryn Frett; four sisters, Gretta Esannoson, Thelma Frett, Lorna Middleton and Leatrice Frett-Gumbs; five brothers, Leroy, Jacob, Harry, Mario and Orvin Frett; four grandchildren; 40 nieces and nephews; and a host of family and friends.
The viewing will take place at 9 a.m. Tuesday, Feb. 20, at St. Andrews Church in Sugar Estate, with the funeral at 10 a.m. He will be buried at Western Cemetery.
To many in the community, Officer Frett was more than a law-enforcement officer, deJongh said in a release from Government House.
“He was instrumental in grooming and assisting young police officers in their endeavor to become good and able agents of law and order," deJongh said. "On Tuesday, a grateful community will come together to pay tribute to a police officer who made the ultimate sacrifice in a career than spanned across 25 years."

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