The Virgin Islands, like the District of Columbia, rely heavily on the FBI's Forensic Lab. However, unlike the V.I., folks in D.C. are taking the steps necessary to build their own Forensic Lab. The increase in crime throughout the United States and the ever increasing role of the FBI in the "War Against Terrorism" have seriously strained resources at the FBI's Lab. The FBI Lab has to prioritize the vast amount of evidence they receive. Most, if not all fifty states, have already established their own labs. In Arizona the lab has a section that specializes in computers and retrieving all sorts of information from them.
Like the V.I., D.C. has been plagued by a huge number of cases that had to be dropped because they could not receive forensic evidence quick enough. Our elected officials need to do what is right and provide the Virgin Islands Police Department the tools they need to help protect us, and the tools necessary to convict these criminals that continue to get away because of lack of evidence.
There is no doubt that St. Croix has the land to build it. By creating a joint venture between the V.I. Justice Department, the University of the Virgin Islands, the Virgin Islands Office of Homeland Security, and the Virgin Islands Police Department this can be achieved. In the Virgin Islands Police Department's Strategic Plan, Commissioner Lewis outlines creating the Caribbean Law Enforcement Learning Center. This once again is an opportunity to utilize one vehicle to move two very important projects forward. Two projects that will benefit our justice system, our quality of life and our economy on St. Croix. Politicians are quick to blame others when something goes wrong but, if you don't provide the resources, you tie the hands of those you blame for not doing their jobs. We cannot and should not take twenty years to do this, we need this now.
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