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Charlotte Amalie
Friday, December 2, 2022
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A Declaration of War

Dear Source:
When you reach a point when all efforts to remedy or otherwise offer solutions, yet your attackers continue their constant assaults, you must declare war. A bold step for sure but those that do you damage must be stopped. The peaceful and economic well being of the Virgin Islands and peaceful existence for you and your family are at stake and without a total commitment by law enforcement and citizens, we risk our future.
My first point starts with our judicial system, more specifically at the clearly irresponsible actions of “Catch and Release Judge Leon Kendall”. This past year we have all heard and read about the bandits lead by Mr. Rodney Miller and the raping of the Roy Schneider Hospital. Millions lost or mismanaged directly at Mr. Miller’s hands and you and your family’s health and potential life is placed in jeopardy due to the hospital being underfunded. With a wimp of a ruling, “Catch and Release Judge Leon Kendall slaps the hand of Miller, fines him $500 and sends him out to play and to prey on the citizens of the islands again.
A tourist in St. John approaches residents asking for directions and is attacked, so severely that immediate attention at the hospital is necessary. As reported the two suspects, identified by others, are currently on parole for a previous crime. Left in the custody of their parents, they are back on the street to continue their ambassadorship to tourism efforts.
Are not all of us under attack, watching crime increase while watching the perpetuators quickly back on the streets, faster than their victims can get out of the hospital.
How do we correct this picture? If we don’t, surely we shall see further deterioration of our tourist trade. In my opinion the start is simple. First, rid of our community of those judges that do not weigh the crime to the impact of the people. Start first with “Catch and Release Judge Leon Kendall”. Time and time again we have seen his actions harm our citizens. Let him retire with 50% of his pension and allocate the balance to victims of criminals he has released. Not a bit harsh but just and get him off the bench.
If we look back only a few years ago, if there was a shooting or assault we could expect a traffic stopping crowd to show up protesting the violence. We see that the incident of the school bus shooting only garnered a handful of concerned parents. Is this due to parents not being concerned or more accurately that they are tired of demanding action and nothing being done and I really mean nothing.
Governor de Jongh, this problem is so serious that I have my doubts that given the current policies of overly protecting the criminals while giving soothing words of sympathy to the victims will ever make a difference. I am not recommending we catch the criminal and like Singapore, cane the crap out of him or her for the slightest offense. (Not a bad idea either or maybe a Youth Boot Camp on one of our little islands off shore) but the parents should be held responsible for their children and their actions. Parents must get involved in their children’s lives, daily checking their backpacks and rooms for weapons. Take an impromptu poll from the citizens and this is far easier than I could have contemplated, just open the Daily News and read aloud the topics dealing with criminal offenses. Everyone within hearing distance of the contents of the article will gladly volunteer their ideas and not most surprising is the aggressive anger expressed.
If we, the community of law abiding citizens, do not demand a “Declaration of War” against crime then we need to reinvent our island’s tourism as more akin to the Wild West. “Come on down and bring your side arms and have a “shoot-em-up” good time. No worries about the law as we have our own “Hanging Judge” oops I mean “Catch and Release Judge Leon Kendall”.”
As a footnote, I would like to point out that as predicted, that if Cuba’s travel restriction would be lifted the direct fallout of our lawlessness is a damaging blow to Virgin Island tourism. The island’s crime level gives all travel agents just one more reason to divert the tourist trade to our islands.
Larry Boecker
St. Thomas

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 visource@gmail.com.

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