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Breaking News / Crime / Featured / News / Top Stories / Virgin Islands / August 30, 2016

ST. CROIX — Police Commissioner Delroy Richards told The Consortium on Monday that the V.I.P.D. had made “significant progress” in the police double homicide case, an important development as the force hadn’t issued a statement regarding the matter in nearly two weeks.

However, aside from making known that detectives were building a solid case, the commissioner would not divulge much else.

The case is “still in the investigative stage; like other homicides we do not want to resort to an arrest based on speculation,” he said. “Thus, we are continuing our investigation.”

The bodies of the slain police officers were found at a Hams Bluff beach in Frederiksted on August 11. Identified as Officers Kai Javois and Lesha Lammy, they were buried last week in separate funerals. Ms. Lammy left behind three children and a devastated family, and the death of Mr. Javois, who appeared to be well loved, pierced the hearts of family and friends. Mr. Richards said Mr. Javois was a future leader whose life had been cut short.

“We had plans for you, but I believe the master had other plans greater than any plans we had,” Mr. Richards said at the Friday funeral. Others, including Tony Emanuel, a fellow marine and once head of a security firm that Mr. Javois worked for, spoke fondly of the man he called a friend, stating that Mr. Javois was one of the most reliable persons he’s known.

“To have someone like that, I wished we could have cloned him,” Mr. Emanuel, who now works at the V.I.P.D., said. “And I know many of you that are part of the military or police, I know me personally, I’m very angry. Frustrated, angry, hurt — that someone who served our country as proudly as he did, and then come here and gets killed.”

Police had previously arrested Officer Francis Williams, who is accused of stalking Ms. Lammy. He was released on $50,000 bond.

The incident shocked a territory already deeply impacted by the high homicide rate affecting the islands. Nearly two weeks following the police double homicide, a firefighter in St. Thomas was shot in the back of his head. Some, including Senator Kenneth Gittens, have speculated that the incident might have been a case of mistaken identity.

The failing crime-fighting strategy has reflected badly on the force, as made known by Senator Kurt Vialet, who said that although police vehicles are equipped with global position system (GPS) technology, they are not activated and therefore no one knows for sure where an officer is at a given time.

“I have been begging them to get the GPS installed so that we could know where the officers are on a regular basis,” Senator Kurt Vialet told The Consortium about a week ago. “I mean in America, someone sits in a room and they’re looking at the whole map and they could tell where every police car is, so if something is happening, they could say, ‘Vehicle 1, you’re right there in that vicinity, go here now.’ It would immediately cut the overtime by more than 50 percent, because a lot of the overtime is people just punching in and going home to cool out.”

As for Governor Kenneth Mapp, the territory’s leader has contended that before his administration’s efforts begin to take hold, crime would escalate.

“I’ve got a bit of bad news that, as governor, being honest with the community, I must share. The violence is going to be brought under control, but there is going to be more violence and there’s going to be more homicides and more shootings before we arrest this problem because we have to catch up,” Mr. Mapp said.

“The government has to catch up with a lack of officers on the streets, the lack of law enforcement personnel. We have to catch up because we’ve done little in the past modernizing our department and resources. [We have to give] equipment and tools to our law enforcement personnel, we are behind in what we’ve done to train them. We are behind because our partnerships with our federal law enforcement partners prior to this administration was practically nonexistent. The ATF (Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms) was not even in the Virgin Islands. And none of what I’m saying is ascribing any blame to anyone; I’m just saying as governor, this is the raw reality.”


Feature Image: Entrance leading to Hams Bluff — near the crusher in Frederiskted — where the bodies of police officers Kai Javois and Lesha Lammy were found on August 11. (Credit: VIC)

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Ernice Gilbert
I wear many hats, I suppose, but the one which fits me best would be journalism, second to that would be radio personality, thirdly singer/songwriter and down the line. I've been the Editor-In-Chief at my videogames website, Gamesthirst, for over 5 years, writing over 7,000 articles and more than 2 million words. I'm also very passionate about where I live, the United States Virgin Islands, and I'm intent on making it a better place by being resourceful and keeping our leaders honest. VI Consortium was birthed out of said desire, hopefully my efforts bear fruit. Reach me at [email protected]

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