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Police Town Meeting a Bust When No One Shows Up

June 7, 2007 — After waiting about 30 minutes for community members to show up, top officials from the V.I. Police Department cut short a town meeting scheduled for Thursday evening at Charlotte Amalie High School.
Police Commissioner James H. McCall, along with acting District Chief of Police Milton Petersen Sr. and Attorney General Victor Frazer, showed up on time for the meeting, accompanied by several officers and other Police representatives. Shuffling into the school's auditorium, the group waited until 7:30 before calling off the meeting because of the lack of attendees.
Taking some time to answer questions before leaving, McCall remained positive about the situation, saying that delays in publicizing the event were responsible for the low turnout. However, he did not take the empty auditorium to mean that residents are not interested in being involved with Police affairs.
"I know that we have the support of the community," McCall said, explaining that residents have recently provided the VIPD with information needed to solve crimes and get guns off the streets. "This just happened because maybe there was not enough publicity on our part," he said.
Added Petersen, "The community has been really involved, assisting us in combating crime and recovering guns. The information that they've been giving us been invaluable in helping us move things forward in a positive way."
The purpose of the meeting was to give residents the opportunity to air concerns related to local public-safety issues, McCall said. Another recent town meeting, held earlier this week on St. John, was well attended, he said, with residents discussing such concerns as illegal immigration and traffic safety.
The turnout is expected to improve Friday evening when another town meeting takes place at 7 p.m. at the Bertha C. Boschulte Middle School auditorium.
"I'm confident we'll have more people come out then," McCall said.
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