Hannah pledges to strengthen police ties to community, focus on helping at-risk youth
Published: September 27, 2013
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ST. CROIX - As the newly appointed assistant police commissioner, Thomas Hannah says he is focused on bridging gaps between the department and the community and working on ways to turn at-risk youth around.
Hannah was the guest speaker at the Rotary Club of St. Croix's weekly meeting, which took place at Gertrude's Restaurant on Thursday.
He said that as the second in command over the V.I. Police Department, he hopes to identify some of the department's existing programs that can be given new life to become more effective in turning young lives around.
"Many of the youth we see here heading down dead-end paths can be saved, and it does not take rocket science, but it does take time and efforts," he said.
Hannah said many of the violent crimes and murders in the community stem from minor misunderstandings that fester and grow into long-standing, ongoing feuds, and as time goes on, more people get involved and the situation spirals out of control.
In some instances, a youth's worst enemy is himself, and they must be protected, Hannah said.
Talking to the small group of Rotarians about the increasing dangerous trends involving social media and smart phones, Hannah said everyone should try to do their part to ensure that education is widespread about the dangers of sending risque pictures or text messages of a sexual nature.
"Once those things are out there, they are out there forever and ever, and there are a number of predators that are waiting to get their hands on our youth," he said.
Hannah also discussed the federal consent degree between the Police Department and the U.S. Justice Department, saying many people see it as a black eye for the department, but he sees it as a good thing, because the department is steadily making strides to overcome the deficiencies outlined by the decree.