Home News Local news New YRC Correction Officers Honored in Ceremony

New YRC Correction Officers Honored in Ceremony


October 7, 2005 – Eleven new correction officers were welcomed to the Department of Human Services Youth Rehabilitation Center at a brunch Friday at Gertrude's Restaurant on St. Croix. Winston E. Daniel, Sherleen M. Francis, Blondell P. Revan, Talisa C. Thomas, and Sheldon M. Williams were independent applicants who took eight to 10 weeks of rigorous training in policing juvenile delinquents. The other six officers were transfers from the Board of Corrections and engaged in two weeks of training.
V.I. Territorial Court Judge Maria Cabret swore in the five officers, a ceremony that is otherwise conducted in her chambers. The officers were then showered with words of encouragement from their instructors as well as official DHS staff. Eric Brown, a retired warden in the Department of Justice was the primary trainer/instructor who reminded the officers of their progress since the beginning of their physical and academic training. "What you put in is what you get out. You've got your marching orders now go do your job.' he said.
Linda Vallerina, the Deputy U.S. Marshal encouraged the officers to have a greater expectation of themselves and others to do a great job.
Kimberly Gomez, administrator for the Division of Children Youth and Families, explained to family and friends in the audience that the five new appointees emerged from fifty applicants. She explained that the determining factors involved in who would be selected for the training session included their abilities as team players, mentors and communicators.
Ferryneisa Benjamin, DHS assistant commissioner, told the officers that their new task could be the beginning of a cherished career that would enable them to nurture, mentor, and educate.
Police Chief Novelle Francis told the officers that "this job is thankless, but rewarding if you apply yourself. This will be a long, difficult road, but you must remain committed to the job." He continued, “You must continue to train and prepare yourself for the awesome responsibility of turning around a mind."
Afterward, Francis pledged his full support to the officers and gave a final nudge with "make it happen."
Sedonie Halbert, DHS commissioner, focused on the department's effort to conduct less punitive correction and more nurturing of the juveniles remanded to the YRC. She said this effort is critical for the new developing programs.
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