May 2, 2007 — A new crime-fighting tool was unveiled Wednesday as police officials displayed a state-of-the-art mobile substation, which will allow increased police presence in high-crime areas.
"A vision has become a reality," said Sen. Louis P. Hill, who was instrumental in acquiring mobile police stations for the territory.
"The ability of police to be responsive to community safety would be greatly enhanced if they were able to move into various communities," Hill said. "This new mobile substation allows police the flexibility to respond."
In the 26th Legislature, Hill sponsored legislation earmarking $330,000 for three substations, one for each of the three major islands.
The St. Thomas substation was unveiled in April, and the St. John unit is presently on St. Thomas waiting to be transported to that island.
Police Commissioner James McCall said adding the mobile substation to the police fleet will assist the department in implementing various law-enforcement initiatives and serve as another weapon in the VIPDs arsenal to combat crime in the Virgin Islands. "The unit will function just like a regular police station," McCall said.
Acting St. Croix District Police Chief Winsbut McFarlande said residents can expect to see the new unit operating in areas that need more police visibility, such as housing communities and remote areas of the island.
"It's a tool for fighting crime, and we will use it in the best way possible," McFarlande said.
Lt. Thomas Hannah said the substation could be equipped with up to 10 telephone lines and images from surveillance cameras positioned outside the unit are displayed on flat-panel screens. The substation has two flat-screen televisions, a bathroom and a holding area for detainees or to accommodate residents making reports. Adding to the amenities is a microwave oven and water cooler.
Hannah said the unit will be equipped with fingerprinting and photo equipment for processing arrestees. Antennas for radio communications are will be installed soon, which will include the capability to communicate to vessels at sea.
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