Lt. Governor Francis Supports Innovative Partnerships to Stem Crime PDF Print

For Immediate Release       
No. 036-13

May 31, 2013

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Shawna K. Richards, Director of Communications
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Lt. Governor Francis Supports Innovative Partnerships to Stem Crime

Lieutenant Governor Gregory R. Francis recently hosted a meeting with top officials from the Virgin Islands Housing Authority, the Virgin Islands Police Department and the Virgin Islands Council of the Boy Scouts to discuss community building initiatives as a means of stemming crime in the territory.  Francis met with Robert Graham, Executive Director of the Virgin Islands Housing Authority, St. Croix Police Chief James Parris, and Michael Dow, Executive Director of the territory’s Boy Scouts Council as part of his ongoing efforts to support crime prevention.  In recent weeks, the lieutenant governor has called for parents to take a greater role in crime prevention by searching their children’s rooms and bags for any illegal items.

Francis is hopeful that the meeting will result in a unique partnership that will support the development of Boy Scouts chapters in the territory’s housing communities and offer opportunities to work together to mentor the young Scouts.  Francis, a former Boy Scout, believes that more young men throughout the Virgin Islands can benefit from the mentoring and discipline that is provided through Scouting.  “It is important that we engage the young men in our communities in positive activities that build self-esteem and community pride,” Francis states.  “Nationally, Scouts have a strong and historic partnership with public housing, and we are excited to replicate that relationship here in the territory.  Our young men need to know that they positive options other than turning to crime.”

Three housing communities, the Tutu High Rise Apartments on St. Thomas and the William’s Delight Villas and John F. Kennedy Terrace on St. Croix, have been selected as the program test sites for the Boy Scout partnership.  The Virgin Islands Housing Authority has already committed to provide the space needed in each of the communities for the Boy Scouts to meet.

Lt. Governor Francis will be holding additional meetings in the near future to finalize details in preparation for the program launch. 

Francis meets with VIPD, VIHA and Boy Scout officials 

Pictured (clockwise from bottom right):

Lt. Governor Francis, VIHA Executive Director Robert Graham, VIHA Deputy ED Patrick Moss, VI Boy Scouts ED Michael Dow, LGO Chief of Staff Raymond Williams and St. Croix Chief of Police James Parris

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