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Off Island Profile: Charles Casey

July 4, 2007 — Charles Casey, a graduate of Charlotte Amalie High School, was recently recognized for his distinguished career in law enforcement in New York City.
The Retired Guardians Fraternal Association put Casey in the spotlight for his lifetime of dedication. The association is an organization composed of retired NYC transit police and police officers primarily of African-American descent.
Casey, who was born on St. Croix on Christmas Day, 1938, graduated from high school in 1956 and joined the NYC Transit Police Department in October 1968. He says he owes his success in New York to his upbringing in the Virgin Islands.
"The discipline that I received in my formative years in elementary, junior and high school was invaluable,” he says. “Some of the teachers that instilled those values were Mrs. Douglas, Mrs. Roberts, Mrs. Carty, and Mr. Antonio Javis. In the junior and high school grades, the teachers were Mrs. Benjamin, Mrs. Thomas, Mrs. Gabriel, Mr. Smith and Mr. Locklhart. Those teachers always made me feel that I could accomplish anything I wanted, providing I worked hard to achieve those goals."
He worked as a plainclothes detective in many different departments. In 1978, after being promoted to sergeant, Casey supervised the District 3 Anti-Crime Unit in its capture of the infamous subway killers Willie Boskett and Herman Spatts, a highly publicized case that spawned a law to provide more severe penalties for youths involved in such crimes.
In 1980, Casey’s anti-crime unit had the highest arrest record of any anti-crime unit in the department and received the first Transit Police unit citation. Casey was promoted to detective sergeant, lieutenant and then detective squad commander, becoming the first African-American to supervise two Manhattan district attorney squads. He retired from the NYPD in 1995.
Since his retirement, he has managed to return to the Virgin Islands every year. He was on St. Thomas this summer and last June for his class's 50th reunion. He still has many family connections on the islands. His brother, Leon Casey, and sister-in-law, Marguerite, live on St. Thomas. Leon is retired from the U.S Custom Service. Marguerite is a teacher in the public-school system. His sister, Ione, and her husband, Alvin Milligan, are both retired and live on St. Croix.
Some of his fondest memories are playing in the first steel band made up of local school children from St. Thomas, he says. Another member of that band was former Gov. Roy Schneider. In 1952, the band played in the first Carnival on St. Thomas. Casey performed in bands in New York through most of the 1960s.
He has been married to his wife, Glenda, for 46 years and has two sons, four grandchildren and two great grandchildren. The Caseys divide their time between their homes in Greenville, N.C., and Amityville, N.Y.
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