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17 federal officers Commissioned as V.I. Peace Officers

The U.S. Virgin Islands commissioned 17 federal law enforcement officers as Virgin Islands Peace Officers after the officers completed an orientation on Virgin Islands history and culture.

The ceremony took place Monday at Government House on St. Croix.

Commissions were awarded to six agents from the Drug Enforcement Agency, five from the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms and six from Homeland Security Investigations.

“This is our largest class of federal officers who have received V.I. Peace Officer status, which is as large as some of the local police academy classes,” Attorney General Claude Earl Walker said. “We now have 26 officers in total since we started. This is one of the most significant law enforcement initiatives in recent history, and as time goes by, the people of the Virgin Islands will see the benefits of this undertaking.”

The training was planned by Walker in conjunction with acting U.S. Attorney Joycelyn Hewlett and VIPD Commissioner Delroy Richards. Hewlett and Richards were present at the orientation ceremony. Chief Deputy Attorney General Joseph Potent stood in for Walker, who was attending a news conference with Gov. Kenneth E. Mapp.

During the ceremony, Dr. Ola see Davis, a Virgin Islands historian and cultural icon, highlighted significant aspects of St. Croix’s history from a military perspective.

At the end of the orientation, Richards and Potent presented each federal officer with a commission. Commissioner Richards said he believes the changes are for the betterment of the islands.

“There are folks who don’t like the interventions of the federal agencies, but I welcome anybody in that’s involved in law enforcement to these islands because it helps me,” Richards said. “It’s not my fight alone; it’s our fight.”

Hewlett also gave brief remarks.

“I just want to thank the commissioner, the Attorney General’s office and the agents for showing up today and finally getting this done,” she said. “I think that when we work together, there’s strength in co-operation, so I think that we can do more through co-operation.”

A federal law enforcement officer who is granted a commission is recognized and authorized to act as a Virgin Islands Peace Officer to enforce local laws in the Virgin Islands, including the power to make arrests for violation of Virgin Islands laws. Any federal law enforcement officer granted a commission may use any reasonable force the officer reasonably believes to be necessary to defend himself, or another person, from bodily harm, while making a lawful arrest.

In addition, reasonable force may also be used, when necessary, to arrest any felon fleeing from justice, when the officer reasonably believes either that the fleeing felon poses a threat of death or serious physical harm to the officer or others, or that the fleeing felon has committed a crime involving the infliction or threatened infliction of serious physical harm to another person.

Nine federal law enforcement officers were commissioned as peace officers during a similar exercise conducted April 10 on St. Thomas.

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  1. This is stupid, these are Federal Officers. If you recieve or accept any type of federal funding they have jurisdiction. Your Peace Officers Commission means nothing to them. By teaching them about VI History you just took a job away from someone at the Department of Tourism. Good Job guys, your setting standards!!!!!

    • If you live in one of the high crime areas on Saint Croix, including downtown Christiansted, you should welcome these Federal officers local enforcers. Most of the serious criminals have relatives on the VI police and the administration. They look out for each other; understandable. There are several drug labs on Saint Croix that process cocaine into crack; nobody ever talks about that! Who owns and controls those labs, and who is bringing in the guns? People connected to the VIPD, business owners, and government employees! Notice the number of criminals who are related to VI officials and those government employees getting caught attempting to move large quantities of drugs. It’s YOUR people who are committing the crime and you protect them. God bless the feds!

  2. Just to emphasize; VIPD knows every drug selling from their home, and more… The Feds are not interested in these small-time relatives… But, they WILL go after the drug labs and the gun runners… Governor Mapp cannot efficiently govern a corrupt people! No one can…