May 4, 2006 – St. Kitts-born and St. Croix-raised, Deputy 1st Class Celvin G. Walwyn moved decades ago to the states, but he still sports the V.I. flag from his Orange County, Fla., Sheriff's Department truck.
Thursday, Walwyn, 48, was honored as 2005 Deputy of the Year during a ceremony in Orlando.
"He has the innate ability to sit down with somebody and turn the situation around," Capt. Dino Martin said, adding that Walwyn has long worked with young people, gaining and keeping their confidence.
Martin also noted that Walwyn speaks several languages, using that skill to good ability in his job.
Walwyn said he now works the Disney World beat.
Walwyn moved from Basseterre, St. Kitts, to St. Croix as a boy. He graduated from Central High School in 1978, and went on to what was then the College of the Virgin Islands for a year before heading to Houston in 1980. After four years with the Internal Revenue Service, he joined up with law enforcement, working in Houston and the surrounding area till 2003. While there, he received numerous honors and wrote a police book, "The Silent FTO," still available at online..
He moved to Orlando with his wife, Toni, and their four children, Tikisha, 20, Cindy, 16, Tonishah, 15, and Tiseanna, 11.
Walwyn said he enjoys law enforcement work. "I like dealing with the people," he said.
During a phone interview, Walwyn talked at length about growing up on St. Croix with people like the Rev. George Franklin and former Sen. Gregory Bennerson. He said all three were members of the V.I. Police Department's Pre-Cadet program run by Bennerson's mother, the late Vivian Bennerson.
He said as a youth, he spent lots of time volunteering. He said in the 1970s, he volunteered with what was then called Civil Defense, and when he was 17, he was appointed the nuclear radiological monitor and instructor.
Walwyn's mother and father are Audrey and James "Burgy" Benjamin, who still live on St. Croix. Walwyn said he has six sisters and five brothers, with some of them still in the Virgin Islands.
With a degree in theology, Walwyn is also an associate pastor at Mount Carmel Missionary Baptist Church.
He'll soon graduate from Bellevue University with a degree in criminal justice and plans to attend graduate school for a master's degree in the fall. Walwyn said he'll then continue on for his doctorate.
And after that?
"I'd like to be director of Homeland Security for the Virgin Islands, but I have to retire first from here," he said, laughing as he said the current holder of that post, Mel Vanterpool, shouldn't start worrying any time soon.
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