VIPD in the past

Department of Public Safety

On July 21, 1955, the Governor of the USVI established the Department of Public Safety. This executive department was mandated by a Commissioner, and composed of two divisions, the Police Division and the Fire Division.

The Police Division was charged with enforcing the laws relating to public safety. It also administered a police system providing police services for the protection of persons and property within the jurisdiction of the Virgin Islands, among other responsibilities.

Later on, the Public Safety department was composed of more agencies, including Home Guards, Civil Defense, Fish and Wildlife, and Corrections (Jails and Prisons).

Eventually, most agencies and organizations left the Public Safety department. For example, in 1967, Civil Defense was trasfered to the Office of the Governor, and renamed the Virgin Islands Territorial Emergency Management Agency (VITEMA).

The transfer of those agencies, not directly related to the police function, prompted to rename Public Safety to the U.S. Virgin Islands Police Department on January 1, 1985.

In 1987, Police Commissioner Milton A. Frett introduced several positive structural changes to the VIPD including the establishment of a Special Operations Bureau, and the creation of a Marine Unit.