As I continue to see the manifestation of lawlessness by all segments in our community; it becomes very apparent that the current administration has not made a dent in curbing the lawlessness, in spite their much publicized incidents of arrests. What we need is a concerted effort by the executive branch to take the lead, by example, in promoting compliance with our laws and ordinances. We are aware of several conditions where the "government" ( the executive branch in particular) is derelict. The administration has over one year in office, while many of us have been extremely patient, we now say enough is enough let us get on with fulfilling the promises made prior to election. It is time the administration show that it is serious in changing the climate of lawlessness, that is so pervasive in our community. I am conscious of the high degree of cynicism that exist but that does help correct our problems nor promote progress. Pride, unity, optimism and hard work does make a positive difference, it makes for progress.
Some of the agents and agencies charged with enforcing our laws are also derelict in obeying the laws, as if they are exempt. People in community have been observing and complaining that the peace officers are not complying with the rules of the road. They use cell phones while driving, they obstruct traffic, they use the sirens excessively (noise pollution), etc. Who is policing the police? I have suggested we institute an Inspector General for law enforcement, but it has apparently fallen on deaf ears. Maybe it does not fit the agenda of certain elements in our community. We all know that many members in law enforcement agencies are below qualification standard and if we are going to keep them in those positions the prudent thing to do is to have them monitored closely. Who is policing the police???
As a member of VIRPO (VI Retired Police Organization), we have been discussing ways of improving the police department and law enforcement in general in our beloved community. We have made overtures to the current police commissioner but he has his own agenda, which does not coincide with our understanding of how best to improve the VI Police Department. VIRPO cumulatively has more than a hundred years of experience, good and not so good. We could select those with proven track records to assist, particularly in the areas of the Internal Affairs Unit, Insular Investigations (intelligence) Unit and other internal services, as starters. This is our community and we are very much concerned about our safety and that of our love ones and neighbors. Let us work together. The proliferation of firearms and crimes involving firearms needs to be reduce if not eliminated. "Together we can".
Let us stop passing the buck, or adjudicating blame, there is enough blame to go around. Our government representatives have been derelict but the citizens also have been derelict by not joining an effort to demand better performance from those we have hired to perform for us. Those public servants, elected and appointed are responsible to us through the mechanism provided in the Organic Act and our statutes. We need to change our approach from complaining to action. We need to demand compliance with our laws by all, without exception, no one is above the law. If we want to pride ourselves as a people who subscribe to a regime of law and order, then we are duty bound to act, positively. What is keeping us from joining efforts with our neighbors, our church organization, our fraternity, our civic organizations and take the derelict public servants to civil or criminal court, to our third branch of government? We can raise the funds to hire competent attorneys to carry our case. Let us network with our various organizations to save this community. Yes we can.
Citizens Coalition for Better Government is an organization formed with that very concept in mind, that of networking with other organizations to promote better government, more responsive and responsible government. Do you have pride in being an American citizen? Do you take pride in being a Virgin Islands citizen, resident? The USA constitution give us both rights and the responsibilities to be personally involve in the affairs of our government, that is the true democratic way, in spite of what some politicians may think. You are cordially invited to be a part of the solutions, whatever we may determine them to be. Your involvement is essential for its success, whether you born here (over which you have no control), or whether you are here by choice ( you have control) you are cordially invited to join us. May Allah-God have mercy on us and grant you good health.
J. J. Estemac
St. Thomas, VI
Editor's note: We welcome and encourage readers to keep the dialogue going by responding to Source commentary. Letters should be e-mailed with name and place of residence to email@example.com.