Citizen in the Spotlight: Irene Richardson

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A Day in the Life: NO BRAKES…24/7

NO BRAKES describes Ms. Richardson’s career. Just hard, dedicated, committed work with, what seems like no stopping…24/7. Irene V. Richardson would probably tell you that her journey has certainly been an adventure. Then she would define adventure as a difficult and exciting endeavor in which the outcome is unknown, but the possibility of great reward exists. In her case the rewards went both ways. Her experience with the Virgin Islands Police Department (VIPD) comes under the term adventure. Ms. Richardson came to us via Edward E. and Gertrude Magras, March 14, 1950. That was a very special day for both her mom and dad and the Virgin Islands.

Irene Richardson has been a respected, admired and loved member of the VIPD team for 32 years. Some, within the VIPD and Virgin Islands community, say she has always been the true boss. As one might expect she has won too numerous of awards to mention on one website. However, it might be appropriate to name some of the organizations and people who have recognized her.

  • VIPD
  • University of the Virgin Islands (UVI)
  • Milton A. Frett, Former Police Commissioner
  • International War On Crime, Narcotics, Terrorism and Dangerous Drugs
  • Government of the Virgin Islands: Alexander A. Farrelly, Governor
  • IBM
  • Senator Holland L. Redfield II
  • Senator Loraine L. Berry
  • Legislature of the Virgin Islands
  • Senator Lloyd L. Williams
  • Ramon S. Davila, Former Police Commissioner, 1998
  • Awards for Outstanding Performance from numerous national and Territorial organizations
  • Letters of Commendation and Appreciation from 13 Police Commissioners
  • Celestino A. White, Sr., Former Police Chief, 1985
  • Donna M. Christensen, Member of Congress

Leave it at the fact that Irene Richardson has been recognized and acknowledged for her outstanding service to the VIPD and Virgin Islands by all the movers and shakers within the Territory.

Ms. Richardson is currently serving Police Commissioner Elton Lewis as his Principle Aide. Her work style is founded in being supportive and collegial in the fact that she is very team focused and extremely results oriented. There are times when she surely possesses the characteristics of a well-experienced Police Captain leading a Special Operations team or even a Drill Sergeant.

Ms. Richardson attended Sts. Peter and Paul Catholic High School. Irene also has earned an honorary undergraduate and graduate degree in “get the job done right and on time with the highest quality possible and with limited resources.”

Irene is the definition of high performance, dedication, commitment and loyalty. Irene is ambitious. Not ambitious for herself but for the VIPD and the Virgin Islands quality of life. She possesses compelling modesty and is understated in her capacity as the person who makes the VIPD on St. Thomas run smoothly. She possesses the talent of Chief Operating Office (COO). She is fanatically driven, infected with an incurable need to produce sustained results. She has done whatever it takes to make the VIPD great, no matter how big or hard the task.

Irene Richardson is a model for excellence. She will be irreplaceable. She added a spirit of quality as well as fun to the Office of the Commissioners. She embraces all that is the Virgin Islands and service to her community.

An Interview with Ms. Irene V. Richardson

VIPD: What brought you to the VIPD?
Ms. Richardson: Judge Alphonso A. Christian requested I join him as the Police Commissioner in 1972. I was previously serving as his Private Secretary in his law office.

VIPD: What was the most significant experience you’ve had with the VIPD?
Ms. Richardson: Working with 13 Police Commissioners with extremely diverse personalities, management styles and personalities.

VIPD: What was the worst experience?
Ms. Richardson: I really can’t say I’ve had any worst experiences. I mean, there were certainly trying times but no different than anyone else.

VIPD: Who was the most significant person in your life?
Ms. Richardson: “That’s pretty easy…my dad.” He was the primary person who guided me and provided me with the values necessary to succeed.

VIPD: What do you think makes you stand out?
Ms. Richardson: My absolute love for work. I love working with people, I love serving the community and I really enjoyed learning the business of policing.

VIPD: Where did you learn your commitment to quality and your work ethic?
Ms. Richardson: Judge Alphonso A. Christian was my mentor. I learned commitment, loyalty, trust and quality from him.

VIPD: What’s next?
Ms. Richardson: I’m really looking forward to retirement and lots of travel.

VIPD: If you could do something different what would you do?
Ms. Richardson: I think that if I had to do it all over again I’d pick becoming a Pediatric Nurse.

VIPD: Is there really anything you’d change in your life if you had it to do over?
Ms. Richardson: “Not one thing” except for doing this interview.

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