I wish to respond to all who have expressed concern over recent crime incidents in the Territory, especially regarding the
tragic and unfortunate death of Tim Metzger. To all those who have have
taken the time to contact me, please be assured that I share
I recognize the heartache experienced by those who have lost a loved one, and the senselessness of violent crime weighs heavily on us all. As
governor, I want to assure you that we are taking every possible step to curtail the criminal element in our islands, which includes apprehending those responsible, and bringing them to justice.
During the past year, we have implemented measures to make sure our police officers are more visible and more accessible, and we continue to strengthen and develop our police force by recruiting more officers and broadening their training.
We are beginning to see results in the form of higher clearance rates in homicides. Police are reacting more quickly to information they receive, and anti-crime measures like saturated patrols, roadblocks and aggressive, targeted enforcement are showing signs of success. We are confiscating more guns than ever before, and continue working with federal law enforcement partners to reduce the number of guns into our territory. More importantly, we are committed to investing in our children and working with families to attack the social ills that contributed to the crime and violence we are challenged with today.
Still, none of these measures will bring back a loved one, or ease the pain and suffering caused by such destructive acts. I ask you to remember that our Virgin Islands are a place full of people of high moral character, solid citizenship and good spirit. For the vast majority of our citizens these crimes are shocking and reprehensible. I implore you, just as I implore our community at large, not to lose faith in this Territory’s bright prospects for a more harmonious and peaceful future. The people of the Virgin Islands are forming a united front against the small, but violent, criminal element that affects these islands and detracts from the quality of all our lives.
It is often a personal challenge for me to strike an appropriate position between outrage and resilience, as we’ve witnessed the violence perpetrated in our community by a few. Nevertheless, my Administration continues to do everything in its power to protect the innocent from those who value nothing of consequence, and we will not waver in our responsibilities to bring every criminal to justice. Our efforts are made even stronger through the unity and power of our people who stand up to this criminal element. Together, we will continue working to preserve the peace, beauty, and tranquility of these islands and I assure you, this indeed is happening.