Deputy Police Commissioner Alwin James, who has served on the Royal Virgin Islands Police Force for 35 years, has been awarded the Queen’s Police Medal in the Queen’s 2021 New Year Honours.

“I am both honoured and humbled to be nominated and awarded the Queen’s Police Medal,” Mr. James said in a Thursday press release. “It has caught me by surprise; it is not one I anticipated.”

He added, “I took an oath to serve the communities of this territory 35-plus years ago, and this is a proud moment for the RVIPF and its members that contribute daily to assist me in delivering to the territory despite the challenges.”

Throughout his tenure as a police officer, Mr. James has served in a variety of roles, including as acting commissioner in 2015, and has helped lead the force through many of its toughest obstacles, such as the aftermath of the 2017 hurricanes and the response to the Covid-19 pandemic, police stated.

Mr. James has also been a force behind many of the community and charity events hosted by police, including the annual Police Week fundraiser for the BVI Autism Centre, and “appreciation events” for senior citizens on Virgin Gorda and Tortola, police stated.

Police Commissioner Michael Matthews said, “This is a richly deserved recognition for our deputy commissioner of police, and it not only highlights his excellent services to policing, but also is a testimony to the dedication he has given to the communities of the British Virgin Islands.”

He added, “I have enjoyed the privilege of working hand in glove with Alwin James for the past five years, and he is without a doubt one of the finest police officers and deputies I have ever worked with.”

According to police, the medal, first given out in 1909, is one of the most prestigious awards law enforcement officers can receive and is bestowed upon only a handful of the most distinguished officers each year.