US Virgin Islands Swears In New Police, Health Commissioners

By: Caribbean Journal Staff - March 16, 2012

Above: Dr Mercedes Dullum is sworn in as new USVI Health Commissioner (Photo: OG)

By the Caribbean Journal staff

US Virgin Islands Governor John de Jongh hosted a swearing-in ceremony for the territory’s new Police and Health Commissioners at Government House on St Thomas.

Virgin Islands Supreme Court Chief Justice Rhys Hodge swore in Henry White, Jr as the USVI’s new Police Commissioner and Dr Mercedes Dullum as the new Health Commissioner.

Governor de Jongh praised the search process, which he said involved community stakeholders, from doctors and nurses to retired police officers, helping to help market the positions to candidates.

“They remain committed — not once in the period of time when discussions were taking place, with all the rhetoric that was going around, not once did they step back and ask me to evaluate my choice, nor did they have any desire and second guess themselves as to whether they wanted the position,” de Jongh said.

White is a former FBI Special Agent, with 30 years of federal and local law enforcement experience.

“Right now, more than anything else, it is difficult to be a public servant; it is difficult to be a leader in any department,” de Jongh said.

Dullum, a native of Jamaica, is a renowned cardiothoracic surgeon.

“What makes the Virgin Islands a little bit more different, and a little bit more difficult is we don’t have the layers of government that insulate us in our decision making policies,” he said.

“We are a state, we are a county, we are a city,” he said. “So the decisions we make on policy have to be implanted on a daily basis.”

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