Eighteen new officers joined the ranks of Virgin Islands law enforcement during a Friday morning ceremony at the Mark Marin Center on the campus of Antilles School, according to a statement issued Friday by Government House.
In remarks prepared for the event, Gov. John deJongh Jr. noted that the members of the police recruit class are "following in the footsteps of the other fine members of the law enforcement corps who work to protect and serve the citizens of the Virgin Islands."
"You are joining an elite group of men and women, individuals who have chosen a career that allows them to help people, which is the number one reason for entering law enforcement," the governor said. "Whether that is your reason, or you have another equally compelling motive for pursuing this profession, we applaud your decision and welcome you into government service.”
The members of class will disperse into various departments; 14 entering the V.I. Police Department, one to the Department of Planning and Natural Resources, one to Waste Management Authority, and two to become members of Fire Services.
“Whichever department you represent, we know that your training has prepared you for your new positions and that you will perform your duties with skill and aptitude,” the governor added.
The governor said that law enforcement is a vital component of any community, but the members of police and security forces often do not receive the respect and understanding they are due. Confidence in the reliability of its police officers leads to a community that is more law-abiding and cohesive, deJongh said.
“However, I believe that this confidence must be earned through demonstrated honesty, hard work and integrity on the job," he said. "Every day you will be tested, and every day you will be expected to maintain the highest standards of conduct and professionalism, bringing distinction to yourselves, the police department and the other departments you represent,” deJongh told the newly promoted officers. Day in and day out, he noted, law enforcement officers probably do more good in society than they will ever receive credit for.
“You may not hear it often, but most Virgin Islanders are grateful for the presence and reliability of our law enforcement personnel. I am here to express their thanks.”
Joining the Police Department are Raynell Bell, Jahbari Burton, Clifford Callwood, Vernon Carr, Jermaine Carty, Racquel Dover, Tianna Hunt, Yordona Loblack, Jamillia Norris, Jesse Piche, Tredesha Pierre, Shenika Simon, Lenisha Smith and Cherval Thomas.
The other promotees and the departments they are joining are Kevin Turnbull, Department of Planning and Natural Resources; Sherise M. Smith and Serena Williams, Virgin Islands Fire Services; and Nadine Todman, Waste Management Authority.