ST. CROIX — Acting JFL CEO Dyma B. Williams on Monday announced the graduation of hospital-based law enforcement officers Dequan Bondieumaitre and Claudelle Abraham, who graduated from the Virgin Islands Police Academy on November 4.
Officers Bondieumaitre and Abraham are the first hospital-based peace officers in the territory. Their graduation marks the beginning of JFL’s workforce development initiative in the hospital’s security arm, according to a JFL release. The initiative was achieved in conjunction with the Virgin Islands Police Department to address the escalating gun violence in the community, JFL said.
“The hiring of hospital-based peace officers allows us to exceed regulatory requirements by ensuring improved patient and staff safety,” said Ms. Williams on Monday. “As critical first responders, the safety of JFL staff and patients has been a top priority during my tenure.”
She went on to thank the VIPD for partnering with JFL in this initiative. “We also would like to thank Senator Novelle Francis for his vision and sponsorship of the bill expanding the definition of peace officer to include the foundation of a hospital-based police force,” Ms. Williams added.
The JFL Police and Security Department, led by its Chief Winsbut McFarlande, a former territorial police chief during the Mapp administration, who has served 27-year in the police force, provides protective services 24 hours a day, 7 days a week on the JFL campus, according to the hospital. The medical facility said its Police and Security Department plays a pivotal role in maintaining a safe workplace for employees and patients by managing and deescalating aggressive behavior and conflict.
JFL said intends to send more security officers to the Virgin Islands Police Academy in the near future.