Senator Dwayne M. DeGraff
Dwayne Maurice DeGraff was born in 1961 to Theodore Pershing DeGraff, Sr. (now deceased) and Maria Estrill DeGraff. He is the fifth of six children.
As a young boy growing up in Savan, Dwayne began his formal education with the Dober Elementary School, George Washington Elementary School (previously known as the Evelyn Marcelli Elementary School), Wayne Aspinall Junior High School (now Addelita Cancryn Junior High School) and finally graduated from the Charlotte Amalie High School in 1979. Eight days after graduation, and with proficient vocational training in auto mechanics, Dwayne immediately joined the workforce with the Virgin Islands Government - Department of Property and Procurement - Police Motor Pool Division. There he worked as an Auto Mechanic Helper and later Auto Mechanic where he proudly earned Two Dollars and Thirty-Five Cents ($2.35) per hour. He was never late nor did he miss a day of work for the eight years he worked there.
In 1983, Dwayne proudly escorted Lizette Turnbull in the Carnival King and Queen competition and successfully attained the carnival throne. Dwayne reigned as the St. Thomas Carnival King from 1983 to 2002.
Compelled to serve his country and advance his leadership skill, in May of 1985, Dwayne joined the Virgin Islands National Guard. He attended basic training in Fort Knox, Kentucky and later advanced to military communication training in Fort Gordon Georgia. He propelled through the ranks and was subsequently promoted to Military Sergeant. In 2006, Dwayne was deployed to Baghdad, Iraq with the 786-Headquarters Unit. While at war, Dwayne was privileged to serve as a Military Police beside the most elite of service men and women of the United States and United States Virgin Islands performing security and enforcement duties. After serving a little over 14-months at war, DeGraff returned home and retired after twenty-three (23) years of honorable service. He is now an active member of the American Legion.
In May of 1987, Dwayne joined the Virgin Islands Police Department and immediately submitted himself to leadership as the Class President of his police class - 87-1. DeGraff worked on all three islands and served in various capacities to include Police Officer, Police Sergeant, and Zone Commander. In 1995, he found his passion in the Department when he was assigned to the Special Operations Bureau. In addition to Special Operations, Dwayne was assigned to several other units to include the first marine unit and first joint task force unit with the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Task Force (now known as the High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) Unit where he served as a cross designated federal agent. In 2009, he was promoted to Deputy Chief of Police for the St. Thomas and Water Island District. In 2013, and after serving 26 years with the Police Department and 34 years of government service, Dwayne honorably retired.
Throughout the years, Dwayne served as a community leader and activist. He organized numerous island-wide community clean-up initiatives. In the 1990s and for several years thereafter, he served as the PTA president of the Jane E. Tuitt Elementary School. In 1999, he was appointed and continue to serve as the class president of his high school class. Because of his love and passion for football, Dwayne have refereed and coached high school tackle and flag football games since the 1990s and continues to segment his time to assist and mentor aspiring, young football enthusiast. He has also served as President of the St. Thomas/St. John Interscholastic Athletic Association and Chairman of the Judges’ Committee for the Virgin Islands Carnival Committee. For his community involvement and service, Dwayne has been the recipient of numerous community service awards from organizations such as Positive Tree, the Virgin Islands Retired Police Organization (VIRPO), American Association of Retired Persons (AARP), the St Thomas Lioness Club and the CAHS Athletic Department.
Dwayne was elected as a senator to the 32nd Legislature of the Virgin Islands in November 2016, and began his first term in office on January 9, 2017.
Dwayne is a proud father and grandfather of four. His love and respect for his family impels his affection for the Virgin Islands. Dwayne looks forward to serving our TERRITORY, building bridges and launching new and lasting legacies.
Member - COMMITTEE ON HEALTH, HOSPITALS AND HUMAN SERVICES
Member - COMMITTEE ON FINANCE
Member - COMMITTEE ON HOMELAND SECURITY, JUSTICE, AND PUBLIC SAFETY