Gov. Albert Bryan Jr. on Tuesday announced his selection of St. Croix native and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms Special Agent Trevor Velinor as commissioner of the Virgin Islands Police Department.
A 29-year veteran of ATF, Velinor was special agent in charge of the Columbus Field Division over the state of Ohio and the Southern Judicial District of Indiana.
Velinor was recently promoted to deputy assistant director of the bureau’s Office of Professional Responsibility and Security Operations at its headquarters in Washington, D.C. before departing that position to return home as VIPD commissioner.
In a statement issued Tuesday by Government House, Bryan said Velinor’s career experience with the bureau coupled with his knowledge of the issues confronting the territory makes him uniquely qualified to serve as police commissioner. The nominee will lead the administration’s efforts to stem the tide of illegal firearms into the territory, according to the governor.
“Our administration is committed to combatting the flow of illegal drugs into our community, and also to finding solutions to the vexing problem of illegal firearms getting into hands of our young people,” Bryan said. “Mr. Velinor’s relationship with federal law enforcement will position our administration to set in place the partnerships that will connect our local law enforcement with the necessary resources to aid our fight against gun crime. He brings a fresh set of eyes to the VIPD, and I can’t think of a better, more qualified individual to lead our effort to protect our citizens and our community.”
Velinor’s appointment is part of an agreement between the ATF and the Government of the Virgin Islands under the Intergovernmental Personnel Act Mobility Program, which provides for temporary assignment of personnel between the federal and state and local governments.
“We have been working with our federal partners on Mr. Velinor’s assignment to the territory since his expressed interest during the transition process, and we are pleased to announce June 10 as the date in which he will start his service back home,” Bryan said. “We had to undergo the required process, and we are grateful to him for his willingness to serve. We are also grateful to our federal partners for their commitment and partnership with us.”
Velinor said he was happy to have the chance to come home.
“I look forward to serving the people of the Virgin Islands,” said Commissioner nominee Velinor. “It is a privilege and a rare opportunity that I am placed in a position to come home, to work with the men and women of VIPD and the community to enhance public safety in the territory. I thank Gov. Bryan for this opportunity, and I appreciate his vision of collaboration and accountability in addressing violent crime.”
Velinor, who grew up in the Harborview Apartments on St. Croix, began his law enforcement career as a special agent in the ATF Orlando Field Office in 1990 before volunteering for a transfer to the U.S. Virgin Islands, where he served as a special agent for four years.
Also during his career, Velinor served as the assistant special agent in charge of the Tampa Field Division and was a first responder to the Pulse Nightclub shooting in Orlando, a program manager in the Legislative Affairs Division and the Intergovernmental Affairs Division, and the resident agent in charge of the ATF Colorado Springs Field Office.
Velinor has a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice, a master’s degree in public administration and a master’s degree in industrial and organizational psychology. He serves on the executive board of the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives, is a member of the International Association of Chiefs of Police, and a member of the National Council of Negro Women.