At a Government House promotion ceremony today, 45 members of the Virgin Islands Police Department were elevated to new ranks.
Seven were sworn in as Captains, 12 were sworn in as Lieutenants and 26 as sergeants. Governor Kenneth E. Mapp joined Police Commissioner Delroy Richards and St. Croix Police Chief Winsbut McFarlande, Sr. to congratulate the officers and to remind them that their new responsibilities are serious.
“Given the ongoing challenges facing the department under a federal consent decree,” McFarlande stated, “these promotions are significant.”
Commissioner Richards also emphasized a focus on challenging work ahead for the new supervisory level officers. “These promotions mandate that you take on more responsibility,” he said.
Governor Mapp, who has prioritized training and recruitment at VIPD, took note of the amount of overtime being assigned to officers and said that the Administration’s goal is to reduce the extra hours required by adding 100 new officers to the ranks in the coming 12 months. That would bring the Police Department’s strength territory wide to approximately 400 officers.
Promoted to the rank of Captain: Lieutenants Petra Olsen, Sidney Elskoe, Edmund Walters, Dennis Vanterpool, Clyde Newton, Dino Herbert and Joseph Platt.
Promoted to the rank of Lieutenant: Sergeants Richard Matthews, Hermina Rivera, Marisol Colon, Mark Corneiro, Cecil Gumbs, Deborah Hodge, Naomi Joseph, Isaac Porter, Herman Lynch Jr., Emanuel Turner Jr., Terrence Desormeaux and Leslie Williams.
Promoted to the rank of Sergeant: Officers Sahmantha Smith, Keisha Benjamin, Darius George, Cynthia St. Luce, Gail Liburd, Roland Huertas, Frankie Ortiz, Kirk Fieulleteau, Terance Aaron, Denise Skov-Santos, Antonette Sargeant, Sean Santos, Cynthia Francis, Alexander Moorehead IV, Cassandra Jhero, Miguel Charriez, Vincent Heyliger, Arthur Joseph, Nadine Samuel, Benjamin Alecia, Dave Looby, Aldemar Santos, Tehran Parris, Mario Christian, Karen Stout and Luis Ortiz.
Superior Court Magistrate Judge Jessica Gallivan administered the oath.