In a touching ceremony in Emancipation Garden on St. Thomas, Carmen Wesselhoft was sworn in as Senator-at-Large on Monday, January 8.
A number of performers provided musical entertainment throughout the ceremony, including Love City’s Shikima Jones and Shatik Stephens.
While the mood was festive for most of the ceremony, the 10 members of the V.I. Senate Majority set themselves apart by donning yellow ties and handkerchiefs. Wesselhoft, a member of the majority, wore a yellow shirt under her blazer and had yellow flowers pinned to her jacket.
On her first day in office, Wesselhoft went right to work on behalf of the people of the Virgin Islands.
Police Academy and Forensics Lab
The Senator at Large submitted a request that legislation be drafted for the creation of a state-of-the-art Police Academy and Forensics Lab on the island of St. Croix, according to a prepared statement.
“A Police Academy is critical towards improving public safety and the need for a modern forensics lab is obvious,” Wesselhoft said in the statement. “We need to be able to process and store evidence here in the territory. There is no telling how many serious cases we were unable to prosecute because of lost or tainted evidence.”
Wesselhoft also requested legislation be drafted to create a program where Virgin Islands vocational students would be tapped to repair public schools and a bill to commend the late Victor Sewer by naming the Cruz Bay bulkhead in his honor.
The new Senator-at-Large also set to work on her pledge to bring dialysis treatment to St. John. Wesselhoft has requested legislation be drafted to appropriate funds from the Tobacco Settlement to the V.I. Department of Health for a St. John hemodialysis unit.
“This will make a huge difference in the quality of life of St. John patients,” said Wesselhoft in the prepared statement. “We can also use this as a back-up for St. Thomas or for those east end residents that find it more convenient to take a ferry to St. John rather than fight the traffic on St. Thomas.”
Wesselhoft is the chairperson of the V.I. Senate’s Public Safety, Homeland Security and Justice Committee and vice chairperson of the Housing, Sports and Veterans’ Affairs Committee.