The website of the Virgin Islands Territorial Emergency Management Agency has hit another snag.
Specifically, the St. Thomas-St. John web blotter, an up-to-the-minute list of 911 calls, has reported nothing but traffic incidents dating to Sept. 1, 2017. Prior to that date, the blotter reports no incidents at all.
By way of contrast, the St. Croix version of the web blotter contains a wide range of emergency incidents, including a reported armed robbery at the Estate La Reine McDonald’s on Saturday evening.
For example, a roughly four-day window from midnight Nov. 1 to about 9:30 a.m. Monday morning returns 72 separate incidents, 65 on St. Thomas and seven on St. John. Of that number, 48 are logged as “131 Traffic Trans,” while 24 are logged as “131 Traffic Violat.”
The same five-day window on St. Croix returns 219 incidents. Of that number, 33 are logged as “131 Traffic Trans,” while three are logged as “131 Traffic Violat.”
If traffic incidents on St. Thomas and St. John represent the same proportion of incidents on St. Croix, the math indicates VITEMA is not publicly displaying records for about 366 police or fire calls on St. Thomas and St. John.
The period for which VITEMA’s system has reported only traffic incidents includes all reported homicides in 2017 and 2018, including the most recently reported St. Thomas homicide, an as-yet unidentified body found in a burned out car in Estate Tutu on the morning of Oct. 26.
VITEMA spokesman Garry Green was unable to explain why the system was apparently malfunctioning Monday, and said he’d only been made aware of the situation when The Daily News called to ask about it on Friday.
“We’re reaching out to the vendor to figure out why it’s doing that,” he said.
VITEMA’s website was consistently inoperable for several months leading into the 2017 hurricane season, when twin Category 5 storms struck first St. Thomas-St. John, then St. Croix about two weeks apart. The site remained inoperable through a tsunami scare in the early morning hours of Jan. 10 when the most powerful earthquake on record in the Caribbean sent residents scrambling for higher ground. No tsunami materialized.
First asked about the website’s functionality in June 2017, VITEMA officials offered a series of constantly changing estimate of when the site would be restored, ranging from mid-July 2017 to May 21.
On May 21, a new website went live, but lacked the web blotter feature. Subsequent updates restored the web blotter, but the St. Thomas web blotter has not accurately reported emergency responses in the territory since the site’s restoration.