The Virgin Islands Police Department continues to positively engage the community’s youth and families, territory-wide, by providing several enrichment programs, which foster work ethics and entrepreneurship skills, for hundreds of young people, ages 5 through 17 during the summer months.
Through the department’s Crime Prevention Bureau, several programs are conducted. They include the Summer Enrichment Program, Police Athletic League, Drug Education for Youth one Week Residential Camp, the PAL Mentoring Program, and the World of Work and Entrepreneurship Program.
The Crime Prevention Bureau in partnership with the V.I. Department of Sports Parks and Recreation also sponsor’s the VIPD Summer Basketball League in the St. Croix District.
The Summer League is an annual event coordinated by the School Security Bureau under the leadership of Officer Anthony Osbourne, Ten teams with 90 players participate in this league. Games are held four days a week at the St. Croix Educational Complex Gym.
In most of the programs, participants continue to build on their reading, writing and mathematical skills; they also learn: swimming, kick boxing, martial arts, arts and craft, various sports and leadership. In addition, attend weekly educational field trips.
Presenters from various agencies and organizations come out to educate the participants on fire safety, hurricane preparedness, peer pressure, bullying, gangs, guns, building positive relationships and much more.
Also, through partnership with the Department of Labor and the Legislature, 18 participants, 14- and 15-year-olds are taught work ethics and entrepreneurship skills.
Director Jacqueline Freeman credits the success of these programs largely to the continued collaboration of agencies and organizations such as the United States Attorney’s Office, Project Safe Neighborhoods VI, Department of Labor, DEA/HIDTA, US Marshals, Superior Court, Virgin Islands National Guard, Department of Education, Legislature, DVSAC, My Brother’s Workshop, Prophecy Church, Bovoni Baptiste Church and the Law Enforcement Planning Commission.
VIPD continues to look for positive role models within the community to mentor a child and or assist with their various programs. To get involved, please contact the St. Croix District Crime Prevention Bureau Supervisor Sgt. Richard White at 226-5084. Contact the St. Thomas-St. John District Supervisor Lt. Bridget Conow at 643-0110, Kathleen Powell 513-3737 or Director Jacqueline Freeman at 344-4516.