Many persons inside and outside the Royal Virgin Islands Police Force (RVIPF) might know her as ‘Superintendent’. But on June 9, Officer Jacqueline Vanterpool was acknowledged as something entirely more respectable — Commander.
Militantly robed in her ceremonial attire and her sword erected perfectly upright, Vanterpool on Saturday became the first female in the history of the British Virgin Islands to command the parade for The Queen’s birthday celebrations.
As she effortlessly commanded the parade of paramilitary personnel, the British Virgin Islander proved to be just as effective as her male counterparts typically known to take up the task.
Police Commissioner Michael Matthews was encouraged to describe her performance as ‘brilliant’.
“This is a sign, for me, of the way the Force is developing. We got to continue to grow and change the way we do things around here and the more we see local people stepping up and taking that level of responsibility, the better it is as far as I’m concerned,” the Commissioner said.
Superintendent Vanterpool is increasingly proving to be a woman of historic firsts; having also been the first female local to become a Superintendent in the RVIPF — a rank she has held for two years now.
Also recognising Vanterpool’s exceptional accomplishment, Governor Augustus Jaspert was compelled last Saturday to make a toast in honour of the top female cop during a reception at Government House, following The Queen’s parade.
She was one of three women Governor Jaspert paid tribute to that evening. The other two are Deputy Governor Rosalie Adams — who was awarded the Order of the British Empire — and the territory’s sovereign, Queen Elizabeth II.
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