VIPD officials dismantled a wooden shack and rescued a pit bull from a vagrant’s camp area in Cruz Bay.
For the third time this year, V.I. Police Department officials and Department of Public Works personnel collaborated to make Cruz Bay cleaner and safer — and this time their efforts also saved a dog.
Responding to complaints from residents, VIPD and DPW on Tuesday, October 5, returned to the area across from Fish Trap Restaurant in Cruz Bay where vagrants and squatters have long set up camp.
Officials cut back about five feet of bush, removed piles of trash and found a pit bull inside a plywood shack. The shack was dismantled and the dog was taken to the St. John Animal Care Center, according to VIPD officials.
A week before the cleanup VIPD’s K-9 unit moved through the area and chased out some of the occupants, explained DPW’s St. John Deputy Director Ira Wade.
“We’ve cleaned this area out before and the K-9 unit was up here last week,” said Wade. “The first time we came up here about a year ago, it was like a country club. There were tents and carpeting and furniture — it was unbelievable.”
While the area didn’t take as long to clean up as previous efforts, Wade expected to have to return to the area before long.
“As fast as you can clear it out, they move right back in,” he said. “You have to go back up regularly so they don’t get too comfortable.”
The site is located on private land, but business owners in the area first asked the VIPD to clean the area out at a Citizen’s Integration Team meeting last year. That first effort netted contraband, drugs and drug paraphernalia and items which had been reported stolen.
While no drugs or stolen items were found on the recent sweep through of the area, VIPD will continue to keep the area clean, according to VIPD’s Assistant Commissioner Raymond Hyndman.
“This is an effort to rid several areas in the community where loiterers and vagrants hang out in bushes to conduct illegal activities,” said Hyndman. “By clearing out the area it will give police and the community higher visibility into the area.”
VIPD Sergeant Charmayne Thomas, Officer Earl Mills and Officer Richard Dominguez of Zone D Command assisted with the cleanup as well.