ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI – Commissioner of Police, Mr Mark Collins has confirmed the death of beloved husband, father, and Royal Virgin Islands Police Force (RVIPF) Sergeant, Mr Algon G. Smikle who died from COVID-19 related complications at the Dr. D. Orlando Smith Hospital.
Shortly after the VI reported on its 14th COVID-19 related death, the news of Sergeant Smikle’s passing was shared on the Facebook page of the RVIPF by Commissioner of Police, Mr Collins in sad tribute.
‘Loss hits way too close to home’ – Commissioner
According to the Commissioner, “Like many of you, I received the news this morning [July 17, 2021] of the passing of our colleague and friend, Sergeant Algon Smikle. It is difficult to put into words any emotions that adequately capture the shock we all feel right now. Suffice it to say, this loss hits way too close to home.”
The Commissioner, who was recently appointed to the helm of the RVIPF said while he did not know Sergeant Smikle as well as his many colleagues, “I feel the same sadness that one within the family is torn away so suddenly and tragically.”
According to Mr Collins, the late Sergeant was affiliated with the Armed Response Unit of the force, and for that unit, he said the loss will be “even more difficult.”
“I spoke with Algon’s family to let them know we all share in their grief, and I will visit with his wife and the children at an appropriate time,” he said.
“I will simply say here that this is [the] nature of COVID-19. It is merciless and unapologetic and leaves behind a path of destruction when it is allowed to ravage any society. I hoped I would never see this play out in the BVI,” Mr Collins went on to say.
Persons urged to get vaccinated
The Top CoP further used the opportunity to urge all in the territory to get vaccinated against the deadly virus at the ‘Operation Protect Each Other’ COVID-19 drive-through initiative continuing tomorrow from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm at Festival Grounds, Wickham’s Cay II, Tortola, tomorrow Sunday, July 18, 2021.
“All I will say is please avail yourselves of that opportunity. More importantly, I implore all within the establishment to apply the public safety protocols at all times. It is paramount that we do not neglect to take the necessary precautions to maximize the safety for ourselves and that of others. There is no place for complacency,” he said.
Virgin Islands News Online (VINO) extends condolences to the family, friends, and colleagues of Police Sergeant Smikle and all others who died in the past days as a result of the pandemic.