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State of Emergency Was A Stopgap Measure To Fight Violent Crime

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CHARLOTTE AMALIE – After just five days of being in effect – and before Gov. Kenneth Mapp returned from his carnival parade boondoggle in New York City – the second in command has ended the state of emergency declared for the territory.

On Wednesday night, Lt. Gov. Osbert Potter, acting as governor, issued an order terminating the State of Emergency that was originally declared on September, 5, 2015.

Potter also ordered that all Territorial Peace Officers, who were deputized as law enforcement officers during the State of Emergency, resume their normal functions with their respective agencies and instrumentalities.  These orders were effective as of September 8, 2015.

The State of Emergency was declared on September 5, 2015, following a sudden eruption of violence during the preceding twenty-four hours in both districts, including homicides and injuries by gunfire, Potter said.

To increase law enforcement manpower resources, Acting Governor Potter said he issued the emergency declaration under which all sworn Peace Officers were deputized to carry out general law enforcement duties as required by the Chief Executive, the Commissioner of Police, or designated authority.

In the order terminating the State of Emergency on September 9, Acting Governor Potter noted that “it has been determined that there is no further need to continue the order, thus no further need to deputize all Territorial Peace Officers pursuant thereto.”

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The Author

John McCarthy

John McCarthy

John McCarthy is primarily known for his investigative reporting on the U.S. Virgin Islands. A series of reports beginning in the 1990's revealed that there was everything from coliform bacteria to Cryptosporidium in locally-bottled St. Croix drinking water, according to a then-unpublished University of the Virgin Islands sampling. Another report, following Hurricane Hugo in 1989, cited a Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) confidential overview that said that over 40 percent of the U.S. Virgin Islands public lives below the poverty line. The Virgin Islands Free Press is the only Caribbean news source to regularly incorporate the findings of U.S. Freedom of Information Act requests. John's articles have appeared in the BVI Beacon, St. Croix Avis, San Juan Star and Virgin Islands Daily News. He is the former news director of WSVI-TV Channel 8 on St. Croix.

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