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New Law Enforcement Officers Take Oath of Office on St. Croix

June 23, 2011

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In a ceremony that was both solemn and celebratory 17 new Law Enforcement officers took the oath of office vowing to protect and serve the Virgin Islands community on Thursday, June 23 at the Government House grand ballroom in Christiansted, St. Croix. The new officers included 17 Virgin Islands police officers and four VI Superior Court deputy marshals.

New Officers are Sworn in by Maria M. Cabret, Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the Virgin IslandsThe ballroom was filled with family, friends, police officers and other law enforcement all eager to see the graduates culminate 28 weeks of grueling physical training, classroom and field  instruction and begin their new careers. The class that began six months ago, in 2010, marched in perfect time down the center isle before taking their seats of honor at the front of the gathering.

After opening remarks by Training Director Oakland Benta and St. Croix Police Chief Christopher Howell, the recruits raised their right hands and were administered their oath of office by Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the Virgin Islands Maria M. Cabret.

Governor John de Jongh congratulated the graduates and urged them to be fair in their dealings with the public. He said, “You have a tremendous responsibility. I thank you for standing up and making a difference. You serve as an example for others to step forward and do their part for this community.”

In his remarks Director Benta acknowledged the contributions of the families, who, he said, established guidelines for the recruits allowing them to evolve into constructive and contributing members of society. “As you embark on this journey as protectors of the community, thank your families who dedicated themselves to instilling excellent standards in you,” Benta said.

Chief Howell compared the graduates to the famous boxer Muhammad Ali whose prose and boastings proclaimed himself “the greatest that ever lived.” Howell said, “Convince yourself you are the greatest. Go above and beyond the call of duty. Remember, you can’t hit a home run if you don’t step up to the plate.”

The class representative Louis Armstrong, Jr. drew laughter from the recruits as he reminisced on the trial and tribulations the class endured during training. Despite the shocks from tazer training, the exhausting early morning runs and the harsh discipline, the class had nothing but love and respect for their teachers that was summed up in their class motto. He instructed the group to stand and recite - “We are the definition of integrity, to survive and accomplish is our destiny. Your teachings will make the best of me. Drive on Cadre, Drive on Stingrays.”

Assistant Commissioner Raymond L. Hyndman, representing Police Commissioner Novelle E. Francis, Jr. who is on bereavement leave, expressed his confidence in the new officers. “I am confident that you have the training, and courage to rise above all challenges,” Hyndman said. “ “Each of you must commit yourself to carry out the mission of the Virgin Islands Police Department 24/7.”

The new officers are:

Virgin Islands Police Department

  • Nadia Charlery
  • Philern J. Davis – Top Academic Award
  • Kassandra Desormeaux
  • Melissa Emmanuel – Commissioner’s Award and Top Physical Training Award (Female)
  • Alexander Felix
  • Malissa Fraser – Top Firearm Award (Female)
  • Stephanie Gabriel
  • Lamar Joshua
  • Lesha Lammy
  • Henry A. Mason, Jr.
  • Ismael Navarro – Top Physical Training Award (Male)
  • Don Peter
  • Daniel Stevens

VI Superior Court Marshals

  • Louis Armstrong, Jr.
  • Luis Frontal, Jr. – Top Firearm Award (Male)
  • George O’Reilly
  • Gisselle Quinones

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