US Virgin Islands Talks Anti-Crime Bill

By: Caribbean Journal Staff - June 25, 2012

Above: the talks in the USVI

By the Caribbean Journal staff

United States Virgin Islands Governor John de Jongh recently hosted talks with the territory’s legislature and officials from the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives on a new bill aimed at granting federal law enforcement officers “peace officer” status in the USVI.

De Jongh urged senators to adopt the bill in their next session.

“The proposed bill is an extremely important tool to confront gangs, violent crime and gun violence in our territory,” de Jongh said. “We need that extra push to successfully get guns out of the hands of criminals, and the ATF has tremendous capabilities and resources to help us do that.”

The ATF last had a permanent presence in the US Virgin Islands four years ago, de Jongh said.

The proposed bill would grant all federal agents peace officer status in the Virgin Islands, giving them the authority to enforce certain laws under the VI Code.

The governor has held a number of meetings over the past year with ATF officials and the Virgin Islands.

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