Sgt. Hill Removed as Deputy Chief; St. John Position May Not Be Filled

Angelo Hill has been removed from his position as St. John Deputy Police Chief, and no one has been named to replace him, Virgin Islands Police Department Commissioner James McCall confirmed at a Monday morning, March 5, hearing of the V.I. Senate’s Committee on Public Safety, Homeland Security and Justice at the St. John Legislature.

Hill showed up at the beginning of the hearing in his street clothes. The former St. John Deputy Police Chief sat in the back row of the Legislature conference room and did not stay long, leaving before McCall’s testimony began.

The VIPD’s manpower resources must be examined before a new Deputy Police Chief is chosen, McCall explained.

“Hill has been removed and has not been replaced,” McCall testified at the hearing. “We have to evaluate our manpower situation before making a determination.”

St. John Has Leadership
A St. John resident would best serve the position of St. John Deputy Police Chief, McCall testified.

“On a 24-hour basis, St. John must have an individual in that capacity on island,” said the police commissioner. “This commuting thing is not going to work.”

McCall was not available for an interview last week, but wanted to assure St. John residents they are in good hands, VIPD spokesperson Shawna Richards explained.

“Commissioner McCall wants to reassure the community that there is leadership,” said Richards. “Milton Petersen is the district chief for St. Thomas, St. John and Water Island. There has not been any lapse in leadership for the island of St. John, or oversight for our police officers’ operations.”

Petersen admitted at the hearing that he is “not entirely familiar with St. John.”

Richards did not know when a St. John Deputy Chief would be named.

Having a St. John resident in the place of St. John Deputy Chief is important, according to Senator at Large Carmen Wesselhoft, chairwoman of the Committee on Public Safety, Homeland Security and Justice, at the St. John Legislature.

“It’s imperative we have somebody from St. John, because when the person comes from St. Thomas and his shift ends, who do we turn to?” said Wesselhoft. “It’s very important that we have somebody living on St. John as Deputy Chief.”

McCall will be naming a St. John Deputy Chief as soon as he is confirmed, according to St. John Administrator Leona Smith.

“I spoke to the acting Commissioner McCall, and he assured me that as soon as he is confirmed, which should be in the next week or so, he is going to name a police chief,” said Smith. “I specifically indicated that the person must be a resident of the island of St. John. We really can’t have a chief residing on St. Thomas.”

“McCall did indicate he will choose somebody from St. John,” Smith added.