March 19, 2006 — The opening of the new section of boardwalk in Christiansted in December was just the first step in making that area an asset to the community and businesses in the area.
The second step – making it secure for use by everyone – was completed this weekend with the installation of security cameras.
Omer ErSelcuk, vice president for sales and service at Seaborne Airlines, said Sunday that there were a few incidents right after the section that runs from the Mix Bar to the seaplane dock was opened.
Seaborne officials became very concerned after a member of one of their flight crews was accosted by a man with a gun demanding money.
Seaborne contacted Novelle Francis, territorial chief of Police. ErSelcuk said, "We are extremely pleased by their response."
He said within a couple of days a meeting was arranged between Seaborne, police and other government officials.
The police agreed to increase patrols in the area and a plan was also made to install a security camera on the boardwalk that would provide a view of the new section.
The St. Croix Foundation made that plan come to fruition in a short period of time.
A press release Friday from the foundation said, "This important addition to downtown security was made possible by a joint effort between the public sector and our community. Grant funds secured by the V.I. Police Department purchased cameras, controllers, and recording equipment."
The release continues, "Seaborne Aviation recognized the obvious benefits to its operations and agreed to place the recording devices and the electronic controllers in its data equipment room. The St. Croix Foundation assisted in making this expansion of coverage possible by paying the cost of the installation through the Community Police Partnership Fund, administered by the St. Croix Foundation."
Roger Dewey, executive director of the foundation, said the fund has been often used to make a difference in public safety where a small amount of money is needed.
The fund paid for an installation crew to string, wire and mount the cameras on a pole.
The release went on to say, "Without the Community Police Partnership Fund, the VIPD would have to go through a lengthy procurement process to contract for installation. With the availability of these funds, the foundation was able to secure the services of a crew to install the cameras as soon as the equipment arrived on island."
This fund was created last year when a new vehicle was donated to the V.I. Police Department and raffled to raise funds.
The fund also is used to maintain existing cameras in Christiansted and Frederiksted.
Dewey urge members of the community to donate to the fund so that monies are always available.
Donations can be made to the St. Croix Foundation, Community Police Partnership Fund, at 72 Flag Drive, Christiansted, USVI 00820. For more information call 773-9898.
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