Photo Focus: Fifteen Fallen Law Enforcement Officers Remembered on Wednesday

Police, joined by other first responders, took a somber journey through the roads of St. Thomas to honor the fallen. This Wednesday, May 15 was observed as Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Day across the U.S.

A motorcade from Eastern Cemetery to Western Cemetery to the Alexander Farrelly Justice Complex was held as part of the 2024 Police Week events on St. Thomas, St. John and St. Croix. Six officers from St. Croix and nine from the St. Thomas-St. John district were remembered with flowers, prayers and a wreath cast on the waters of the Charlotte Amalie Harbor.

Deputy Police Chief Clayton Brown and former Deputy Chief — now Sen. Dwayne DeGraff — lead a wreath-laying ceremony on Veterans Drive. (Source photo by Judi Shimel)

At the justice complex, Police Lt. Deborah Hodge thanked the officer from St. Croix who created commemorative tiles for each of the day’s honorees. The most recent one was St. Thomas-St. John Detective Delberth Phipps Jr. who died in an armed confrontation on July 4, 2023.

Nine commemorative plaques displayed at Farrelly Justice Complex on Wednesday afternoon. (Source photo by Judi Shimel)

Deputy Police Chief Clayton Brown said Phipps’ family was in Washington, D.C. at a national ceremony honoring officers from across the United States. “This year there will be 284 new names added to the memorial. Sadly, one of the names will be one of our own,” Brown said.

But the family of Officer Colvin Geroges — who died in 2012 — was among those gathered on Wednesday. His mother accepted a bouquet of flowers in her son’s honor. Also accepting flowers was Gail Callwood, cousin of Richard Callwood for whom the police command at Farrelly complex is named.

She pointed to his picture. “Did you ever see a big teddy bear? He was the sweetest, gentlest person you ever met,” she said.

The names of those honored on Wednesday included:

Police Detective Delberth Phipps Jr.

Police Officer Colvin Terrance Geroges Sr.

Police Officer Ariel Frett

Deputy Marshall Randy Arnaldo Stephens

Police Officer Steven Hodge

Police Officer Richard N. Callwood

Patrolman Alan Williams

Patrolman Rudel Albert Parrott

Patrolman Leroy Alvaro Swan

Lionel Emanuel Issac

Police Officer Akeem Basil “Teddy” Newton

Police Officer Cuthbert Ezekiel Chapman

Police Officer Dexter L. Mardenborough

Patrolman Wilbur Horatio Francis

Patrolman Patrick Emmanuel Sweeney

Patrolman Leopald Emanuel Fredericks, Jr.

Sen. Dwayne DeGraff recalled his 26 years serving with the VIPD. He said he knew a few of the names on the list as people he worked with side by side, and that Phipps’ father and Geroge’s aunt were his classmates at Charlotte Amalie High School. “When we look at it, the community is so small we are all connected to one another,” DeGraff said.

The ceremony ended with lit candles and a moment of silence.

Police gather in silent reflection on Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Day. (Source photo by Judi Shimel)