Resume of U.S. VIPD Police Chief Christopher M. Howell

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Professional Background

US Virgin Islands Police Department, St. Croix US Virgin Islands

Chief of Police, District of St. Croix (February 2011-Present)

US Virgin Islands Police Department, St. Croix US Virgin Islands

Deputy Chief of Police, District of St. Croix (May 2009- February 2011)

  • Was responsible with the rebuilding of the Virgin Islands Police Departments Property and Evidence and Forensic Processing Facility in St. Croix. Credited with bringing this facility into compliance with the internationally recognized standards.
  • Founded Officer based Trauma Training and provided over 200 individual officer trauma kits to Virgin Islands Police Officers.
  • Started a street crimes unit known as “Saturated Patrol” which is run under the “Broken Windows Theory”. This unit has gained community support within the Virgin Islands and was featured on local television show known as “COPS VI.” This unit is credited with several hundred arrests over the last 18 months and for revitalization of high crime neighborhoods on St. Croix.
  • Responsible for several business community based fund raising events over the last twelve months which helped to raise money for self initiated programs such as, Police Week, The DNA Testing Fund, the K9 Fund the Special Operations Fund and the Gun Buy Back Program.
  • Responsible for obtaining and renovating a Special Operations vehicle for the police department with 100% community donations.
  • Leading the design and reconstruction of a VIPD’s St. Croix K9 facility. This facility will be used for training, office space and kennels and is being designed and built the first “green” police facility in the Caribbean. It is expected that upon completion, this facility will obtain Certification by the United States Green Building Council for New Construction.
  • Review Department performance and effectiveness, formulates programs or policies to alleviate deficiencies.
  • Supervise and coordinate the preparation and presentation of an annual budget for the Department; direct the implementation of the department's budget; plans for and reviews specifications and needs for additional personnel and for new or replacement equipment.
  • Ensure appropriate and adequate training and development of Department personnel.
  • Handle grievances; maintain Departmental discipline and the conduct and general behavior of assigned personnel.
  • Prepares and submits periodic reports to the Commissioner of Police and Governor of the Virgin Islands regarding the Department's activities, and prepares a variety of other reports as appropriate.
  • Meet with elected or appointed officials, other law enforcement officials, community and business representatives, and the public on all aspects of the Department's activities.
  • Attend conferences and meetings to keep abreast of current trends in the field; represents the Virgin Islands and the Police Department in a variety of local, and federal and other meetings.
  • Cooperates with Local, State and Federal law enforcement officers as appropriate where activities of the police department are involved.
  • Ensures that laws and ordinances are enforced and that the public peace and safety is maintained.
  • Oversee approximately 200 officers, supervisors and civilian staff assigned to Police Operations.
  • Periodically acted as the Commissioner of Police while the Commissioner was outside the Territory.
  • Chairperson for the Use of Force Working Group for the Consent Decree between the VIPD and the United States Department of Justice.

US Virgin Islands Police Department, St. Croix, US Virgin Islands                         

Detective / Task Force Officer DEA/HIDTA Task Force (1995 – 2009)

Detective / Sergeant / Task Force Agent assigned to US Drug Enforcement Administration’s High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area Task Force (HIDTA).

  • Virgin Islands Police supervising Sergeant for the unit. Directed subordinate Detectives. Responsible for yearly budget. Reported unit’s activities and progress directly to the Commissioner of Police.
  • Responsible for investigation federal drug / weapons trafficking and money laundering offenses.  Conducted electronic and undercover surveillance. Performed search and seizure actions. Authorized and execute search and arrest warrants.  Provided case and expert witness testimony in federal and state courts.  Served as evidence custodian for unit.
  • In 2004 and 2005 coordinated and conducted operations in Venezuela and on the boarder of Colombia  with members of the Venezuelan DISIP (Venezuelan Intelligence and Counter Intelligence), DIM (Venezuelan Military Intelligence), and Venezuelan Army aimed of recovering illegal drug proceeds and assets valued at approximately 25 million US dollars.
  • Carried out court-authorized covert entries of domiciles, vehicles, boats, and other premises for the purposes of installing court authorized covert surveillance equipment such as video cameras, wire taps, and tracking transmitters.
  • Was the case agent in an investigation resulting in more than $5 million in seized assets, 200 arrests and federal convictions, and numerous key drug seizures for more than ten years.
  • Coordinated a multi-national, multi-agency teams of up to 150 agents and officers.  Work closely on joint investigations with ATF, DEA, FBI, NCIS, Coast Guard, the department of defense and other agencies.
  • Electronic and surveillance equipment expert for unit.  Responsible for selection and purchase of all electronic and technical equipment.  Managed budgets as high as $500,000.  Obtained purchase orders and competitive bids.  Oversaw operation, construction, installation, maintenance, and training for all technical equipment.
  • Completed two-year investigation into a major international drug trafficking ring that moved estimated $50,000 per month in cocaine, heroin, and other substances.  Led investigation, including surveillance and undercover operations.  Worked with informants to obtain undercover videos footage.  Executed warrants, carried out search and seizures.  Seized over $1 million in assets.  This investigation led to arrest of 36 defendants.
  • Was the Virgin Islands case agent in an investigation of a FBI and U.S. Customs most wanted fugitive code named, Operation RAIN.  Operation RAIN involved the investigation into trafficking of cocaine between Colombia, Virgin Islands, Europe and United States.  Authored and coordinated 34 search warrants.  Authored and conducted Virgin Islands’ first-ever Title III wiretap.  Recovered over $3 million in assets and over $600,000 in U.S. currency.  Seized more than 8,000 kilograms of cocaine.  
  • Instructed Drug Investigation and Affidavit Writing at Virgin Islands Police Academy for ten years.
  • Acted as a consultant and had cases featured on the television shows The FBI Files and America’s Most Wanted.
  • In 2005, completed two three month wire tap investigations with resulted in approximately 25 arrests and a number of assets and drug seizures. Obtained the first Title III order South of Miami, Florida to intercept text messages. This case was credited with the dismantling of a Virgin Islands based drug/violent crime organization known as “The Federation.”

Investigator Police Intelligence Group and Insular Investigation Unit (1993 – 1995)

  • As part of Police Intelligence Group, working under direction of US Attorney’s Office and conducted investigations into suspected weapons traffickers.
  • Worked several undercover assignments making controlled purchases of controlled substances.
  • Achieved more than 30 major arrests in less than two years, with 100% conviction record.
  • Performed covert surveillance, coordinated search and seizure activities.  Authored and executed warrants.  Provided testimony in federal and state courts.
  • Responsible for the operation, installation, and maintenance of unit’s technical and surveillance equipment.
  • Served on Insular Investigation Unit, investigating white-collar crimes such as fraud, money laundering, and others investigations.
  • Selected and purchased video and audio equipment, through federal grant.
  • Carried out training of investigators and officers in use of technical and surveillance equipment.

Police Officer (1992 – 1993)

  • Served as routine patrol officer for two separate divisions / commands during this period.
  • Carried out assignment as undercover narcotics officer for the Drug Enforcement Administration and the Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS), Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) performing undercover purchases of controlled substances.

Education

BS in Community and Human Service, Concentration in Criminal Justice, Empire State College, Saratoga Springs, NY ( July 2004)

Graduate, Virgin Islands Police Academy, St. Croix, US Virgin Islands (1992)

A.A. in General Studies, Muskegon Community College, Muskegon, MI (1992)

Professional Development and Training

Covert lock picking and alarm neutralization, The U.S Patriot Act, Vehicle Installations, Terrorism Overview, Explosives Devices (National Association of Technical Investigators (NATIA) annual training conference, 2002)

Victim Witness and Confidential Informant Training (US Drug Enforcement Administration, 2001)

Anti Piracy training, Audio Enhancement, Audio, Body Wires, voltage regulators, GPS tracking equipment, Electricity and Tapping power, Audi Recordings, Low Light Video, Time Lapse Recorders and Multiplexers, Covert Video Installs (NATIA annual training conference, 2001)

Report Writing, Confidential Informant Handling, Telephone Toll Analysis, Pen Link Training, T2S2 Title III Equipment, Drug Interdiction Training Seminar training (US DEA, 2000)

Low Light Video, Undercover Video Enclosures, Video Microwave, and Low Cost Video Transmission (NATIA annual training conference, 2000)

Conspiracy Investigation Course (Multi-jurisdictional Counter Drug Task Force Training (MCTFT), 1999)

Interview and Interrogation Course, Domestic Drug Interdiction, Financial Investigation Techniques (MCTFT, 1998)

Title III Investigation Techniques Training Seminar (1998)

Counter Drug / Narco Terrorism Personal and Dignitary Protection, Confidential Informant / Interrogation (Department of the Army, 1997)

Operational Security Course (Joint Task Force Six, 1995)

Covert Electronics & Undercover Operational Techniques (National Intelligence Academy, 1994)

Awards and Recognition

  • Awarded by the DEA in 2007 for outstanding work in the field of drug enforcement for a two year wire tap investigation that ended to the arrest and conviction 21 key members of a Virgin Islands based drug organization. This organization, named “the Federation”, and was responsible for the importation of hundreds of kilogram of cocaine, the conversion of cocaine in cocaine base (crack) and a least 13 Virgin Islands homicides. This investigation was credited with the dismantling of the Federation.  
  • Awarded Case of the Year by the South East Organized Crime Drug Task Force for work in the James Springette trafficking investigation. (2003)
  • Awarded by the Federal Bureau of Investigation for work the investigation of a multi-ton cocaine trafficking organization and the apprehension of a FBI top ten fugitive in Caracas, Venezuela (2003)
  • Awarded by the United States Attorneys Office for outstanding casework during criminal investigations (2002)
  • Awarded by the US Drug Enforcement Administration for work conducted in a thirty-five-defendant heroin trafficking investigation (2002)
  • Officer of the Month, Virgin Islands Police Department, for work as the case agent on a major international cocaine trafficking investigation, which led to the 1st Title III wiretap in Virgin Islands history (1999)
  • Awarded by the US Drug Enforcement Administration for work accomplished while assigned to the HIDTA Task Force (1998)
  • Exceptional Service Award from the Virgin Islands Police Department (1998)
  • Award from the Virgin Islands Police Department for work after the passing of hurricane Marilyn (1998)
  • Letter of Commendation from US Attorney’s office for outstanding work in a multi-kilogram cocaine trafficking investigation (1997)
  • Officer of the Month from the Virgin Islands Police Department for investigative work as the case agent on a major international cocaine trafficking investigation (1997)
  • Letter of Commendation for work in cocaine trafficking investigation (1996)
  • Outstanding Performance Award from the Virgin Islands Police Department for performance during a shoot-out that occurred on May 9, 1995 (1995)
  • Letter of Commendation from the Special Agent in Charge of the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms Miami, FL for work 1993 – 1994 firearm trafficking investigation (1995)
  • Awarded by the United States Attorney’s office for Outstanding Investigative Work while assigned to the Police Intelligence Group (1995)
  • Awarded by the Virgin Islands Police Department for work that occurred after the passing of Hurricanes Marilyn & Luis in September of  1995 (1995)
  • Letter of Commendation from the Virgin Islands Police Department for investigative work while assigned to the Police Intelligence group (1994)

Technical Skills

Computers: Windows, Word, Excel, PowerPoint, WordPerfect, Lexis-Nexis, NCIC, AutoTrack, Jet Forms, Adobe Premier, proprietary law enforcement applications

Electronic Equipment: Video, audio, track and transmitter, digital photography, alarm neutralization, microwave / RF transmitters, cell phone tracking.

Professional Organizations

National Technical Investigators Association (NATIA)

International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP)

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