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“Thanks to the criminal world” Police get state of the art canteen

March 6th, 2019 | Tags:
Family members seen flanked here by members of the RVIPF for the unveiling of plaque. Photo: Team of Reporters
The symbolic cutting of ribbon, declaring open the new Chief Inspector, Wilson T. Sylvester, Recreational Facility. Photo: Team of Reporters
The symbolic cutting of ribbon, declaring open the new Chief Inspector, Wilson T. Sylvester, Recreational Facility. Photo: Team of Reporters
RVIPF also donated $7,500 to Autism centre. ($500 was received after a cheque for $7,000 was written). Photo: Team of Reporters
RVIPF also donated $7,500 to Autism centre. ($500 was received after a cheque for $7,000 was written). Photo: Team of Reporters
ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI - Deceased former Chief Inspector, Wilson T. Sylvester, was yesterday March 5, 2019, bestowed another honour, as the Royal Virgin Islands Police Force (RVIPF) Recreational Facility was named for him; paid for with cash seized from criminals. “Thanks to the criminal world,” said Commissioner of Police Michael B. Matthews.

Mr Sylvester served the force from 1968 to 2000 during which time he had received several commendation honours.

Fitting

As the canteen at the Road Town Police Station rehabilitation was nearing its completion the Welfare Committee thought it fitting to name it for him.

The former Officer received high commendations for meticulous conduct of a prosecution case displayed in an operation involving serious drug charges, good police work involving the arrest of a man for building breaking and larceny, the murder of Eileen Watts, the arrest and conviction of Wilbert Browne, escapee from St. Thomas who committed armed robbery in the BVI an the murder of Ralph Orr, among others.

He was also presented with High accolades for bravery, persistence and professionalism involving the arrest and conviction of a man for receiving and possession of a firearm with intent to endanger life among many others.

Criminals’ Money

The facility which is now of a high standard for comfort and recreation is outfitted with air-conditioning, security camera and other modern furnishing, thanks to criminals from whom hundreds of thousands of dollars were seized back in 2013.

According to Commissioner of Police, Matthews, the facility was in a deplorable state even before the hit of the 2017 natural disasters and after several years of processing illegal cash seized from criminals approximately, $200,000 was handed over to the force, to be put towards the betterment of police officers.

 “The facility has been designed for the comfort of the officers and staff of this force to ensure that their welfare is well… and it has been driven by the police welfare committee themselves.”

“But the good news is that this didn’t come out of the police budget. I would like to tell you it came out of my own personal pocket but I will be telling a few fibs if I said that. What this was, is criminals’ money. This is as a result of police seizing cash from criminals that they denied knowing anything about.”

Archive

A special ceremony was held yesterday to rededicate and rename the canteen facility, with some level of pomp and ceremony, special renditions from granddaughter Melanie Amaro, winner of X Factor USA 2011, the Elmore Stoutt High School Jazz Band, local entertainer Dwain Frett and a reflection of his life by one of his daughters Yoland Franklin.

The move to dedicate the canteen to the fallen police also gave rise to the need for the development of an archive.

According to head of the welfare committee, who yesterday made the call for this to be established, the RVIPF had to rely on Mr Sylvester’s family for his back information since none was available at the police station.

The renaming of the facility coincided with activities of the RVIPF’s annual police week.

At yesterday’s ceremony, they also donated $7,500 to the BVI Autism Centre and a large amount of food and other items to the Family Support Network (FSN).

The items were donated by officers on Tortola and at Virgin Gorda both officers and the community donated.

The $7,500 was raised from a fitness run/walk event.

A call was also made for Pastor Howard Simon to be name the RVIPF’s Chaplin as he has been serving in the capacity at all police events for over ten years. He too was honoured at yesterday’s ceremony.

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