V.I. Police Department officers from the Anselmo Marshall Command spearheaded a three-day project that began Wednesday to clean up a run-down area of downtown Christiansted.
VIPD officers, along with the V.I. Department of Public Works, bulldozed hundreds of pounds of litter near the cemetery and behind the Alexander Theater in Market Square, a known hangout for drug addicts and criminals.
However, there are also a number of older residents who live in the area, and the VIPD is trying to help by removing the large bushes that cover the vast amount of trash and debris, according to police spokeswoman Melody Rames.
More than 20 dumpsters full of trash, debris and vegetation were hauled away in the initiative. Along with cutting overgrown bushes and pruning trees, the officers found dozens of fighting chicken in cages tucked into an over grown area. The chickens were relocated.
The area was also littered with piles of debris which were hauled out and security cameras in the area were restored to full visibility when overgrown trees were pruned.
Zone C Commander Lt. Agustin Encarnacion said the cleanup helps restore the trust of the community in the VIPD.
“The residents can have a good quality of life and the VIPD can reduce crime,” Encarnaion said.
The VIPD routinely assesses areas that may need improvement. “Based on those statistics, the officers will make assessments, and then they call other partners to assist in the cleanup,“ Rames said.
This time, they partnered with DPW which used bulldozers to remove the bush and clean up the debris.