Sept. 18, 2001 – In the wake of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, increased security remains in effect throughout the Virgin Islands at private-sector installations as well as governmental facilities and offices.
Two U.S. Coast Guard cutters arrived at St. Thomas several days ago, dispatched to escort cruise ships in and out of the Charlotte Amalie harbor. The procedure is "just a precaution," Coast Guard Lt. John Reinert said. "There have been no threats."
Reinert said Coast Guard officers have stepped up checks at the West Indian Co. and Crown Bay docks on St. Thomas. WICO remains on alert, spokesman Calvin Wheatley said, adding, "I don't know when it will be relaxed." He said he doesn't expect any attacks here, but the island needs to remain prepared.
Federal agents detained two people on Sunday at the WICO dock after they were spotted taking photographs in a restricted area. Wheatley said suppliers delivering provisions to the cruise ships must produce WICO-approved identification when asked. "We are carefully monitoring the presence of people along the dock," he said.
All of WICO's 60 employees already carried identification before the Sept. 11 attack, and the security staff knows them all, Wheatley said.
Alex Moorhead, vice president for government affairs and human relations at the Hovensa oil refinery on St. Croix, declined to provide any security details but said the refinery remained on alert. "It is causing a minimum of inconvenience to employees," he said, noting that employee bag searches were part of the security program before the attack.
Federal buildings on St. Thomas and St. Croix also remain on alert. Stanley Brown, who manages both buildings, said that staff moved into high alert on Sept. 11. "Nothing has changed," he said, declining to provide details.
James O'Bryan, Gov. Charles W. Turnbull's assistant for public affairs and policy initiatives, said security has been increased at key government buildings. He declined to give specifics but said that, in some instances, employees now must go through checkpoints.
While most agencies continue watching their backs, the V.I. National Park on St. John is not doing so. Supt. John King said the park closed the Visitor Center right after the attack but reopened it the next day. It is unlikely the park would be a target of any attack, he said.
King noted that certain other national parks such as those where the Statue of Liberty in New York and Independence Hall in Philadelphia are located remain under higher vigilance. "They are important symbols of our nation," he said.
No one could be reached for comment at the Water and Power Authority or
Innovative Telephone.


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