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Police Offer $5,000 Reward for Leads in Bovoni Shooting

April 8, 2008 — Police are offering a $5,000 reward for any information leading to the arrest of one or more suspects involved last week in a shootout at the Bovoni Housing Community, Police Commissioner James H. McCall said Tuesday.
All six victims of the shooting incident have either been released from Schneider Regional Medical Complex or been admitted to the hospital and are currently listed in stable condition. The victims range in age from 18 to 40. Four of the victims were shot in the upper or lower thigh. One was shot in the buttocks, while another — a 40-year-old male — was shot in the chest.
When questioned at the hospital, the victims said their shooters were masked, leaving police with no leads on possible suspects.
During a joint press conference held on St. Thomas Tuesday, McCall said the Police Department have been following up on all information provided by community members — a new tool in the law-enforcement arsenal that most recently led to the recapture on St. Croix of escaped murderer and rapist Jeffrey Warner. Police put out a $10,000 reward after Warner's escape for information leading to his recapture, and are currently trying to determine who is entitled to the money, McCall added.
Meanwhile, the VIPD is still moving forward with initiatives to take care of its critical manpower shortage. In addition to bringing in 30 new officers from off island (See "On the Beat from Across the Sea: Police Recruiting Efforts Circle Globe."), about 70 community members have signed up for the Police Auxiliary Program, McCall said. Another 50 individuals between the ages of 16 and 19 have joined the newly implemented Police Cadet force — a program that McCall said is geared toward keeping "our best and brightest in the community."
"These 50 cadets territory wide we hope will be the moral compass for many other young people in the community," McCall said.
The VIPD has already received inquiries from Drug Enforcement Bureau agents interested in joining the department, he said. Gov. John deJongh Jr. recently submitted legislation to disband the bureau, formerly known as the Narcotics Strike Force. Senators have not yet acted on the bill.
The department also plans on "re-energizing" the Community Integration Team on St. Thomas and St. John, which consists of local residents and members of the clergy who assist the VIPD in making recommendations and gathering information, among other things Meanwhile, VIPD traffic stops and firearm-recovery efforts yielded 17 illegal weapons last month.
Over the past four months, 64 illegal firearms have been recovered, McCall said. Last year 120 firearms were recovered. Though he wouldn't go into details, McCall added that law-enforcement officials are also making strides in curbing the influx of weapons coming into the territory.
"We will never recover them all," he said. "But we will do our best to make a significant dent in what's coming in, and make the necessary arrests to keep them off the streets."
More than 800 traffic citations are issued monthly, McCall added.
With St. Thomas now in the throes of Carnival season, police will also crack down on curfew laws soon, McCall said. That means minors under the age of 16 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian after 10 p.m.
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