Governor Mapp on Tuesday announced a nonprofit organization aimed at strengthening law enforcement in the territory through specialized training. Called the USVI Public Safety Support Foundation, the organization is a public-private collaboration that sees the VIPD along with other enforcement arms in the USVI, teaming up with the International Association of Police Chiefs, and other similar groups, in a bid to advance law enforcement in a number of ways — chief among them training.
“This is how we’re going to build our cadre and continue to professionalize our law enforcement personal in the Virgin Islands,” Mr. Mapp said Thursday during the press conference, held at the VI National Guard Armory on St. Croix.
“By having this collaboration and being able to bring these trainers down, several things happen. 1) They work in collaboration with our trainers at the VI Police Academy. It also allows us to bring senior officers out of the field and have them as a part of the training program for specific disciplines in law enforcement in terms of bringing up their capacity,” the governor said.
Mr. Mapp thanked the Bloomberg Foundation who he said was pivotal in helping get the foundation started. The governor said he had received all the structural documents needed to start the foundation, “But I really needed folks in the private sector, in philanthropy, to really pick it up and run with it.”
Training classes have already started with three teams currently operating — two on St. Croix and one in St. Thomas. The classes will run through November. (Some training will also occur on St. John, and the trainers will return episodically.)