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COMMITTEE TO HEAR FROM TOP COP DESIGNEE

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March 19, 2003 – The first meeting on St. Thomas of the Senate's new Public Safety, Judiciary, Homeland Security and Justice Committee, set for 10 a.m. March 26, will include testimony by Elton Lewis, the governor's choice to succeed Franz Christian as Police commissioner.
The committee chair, Sen. Lorraine Berry, said in a release issued on Wednesday that Fire Service officials also will testify. And so, she said, will Assistant Police Commissioner Bruce Hamlin, who on Tuesday was named acting commissioner by Gov. Charles W. Turnbull, who relieved Christian of his duties.
Berry said the Fire Service has the opportunity to apply for a grant from $750 million being made available nationwide through the federal Assistance to Firefighters program.
She quoted Secretary of Homeland Security Tom Ridge as having said that "effective firefighters in every community are critical to America's homeland security," and that his office wants to help fire services "to move quickly to develop and acquire the necessary knowledge, skills and equipment to respond to all emergencies, large and small."
The first meeting of the new Senate committee, spanning two days, took place March 11-12 on St. Croix. Berry also has scheduled a second day for continuation of the St. Thomas session set for March 26, but it's not until April 3.

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