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Aug 22, 2014

Douglas Hyde Named PR Coordinator for Eastern Division

The Eastern Division of the Belize Police Department has a new Public Relations Unit. That unit will be staffed by current Police Press Officer Raphael Martinez, newly appointed Public Relations Coordinator Douglas Hyde and a PR assistant. It’s just the latest move in a division which has been under some fire lately after a spike in crime and a drop in community confidence in the Police. To be honest, the Police Press Office hasn’t really endeared itself to the media, which has been forced to depend on the cooperation and goodwill of select officers for information. And lately, we’ve seen the Police Department in the city shy away from media contact, perhaps because the new head of the Eastern Division has gone on the record to blame the media for the perception that crime in the city is spiralling out of control. So what will the new PR boss do for media relations? Well, we asked him.

 

Douglas Hyde, Public Relations Coordinator, Eastern Division

Douglas Hyde

“One of the objectives of the unit is to look at a better relationship and partnership with the media houses and with the general community in terms of the public. Definitely we will be looking at more education, more sensitization and awareness with the general public of our work with the Police Department, within the Police Department. I must say that one of the challenges that we had, of course, is communication. We will work on that and to build closer networking with our media houses and of course the personnel.”

 

Reporter

“Is your move, is your taking on this position a result of what is being seen as the Police maybe losing ground in terms of confidence from the public?”

 

Douglas Hyde

“It can be two things, and I must say that again it’s a strategy and an approach that the new OCED, Assistant Commissioner Phillips very much embraced the idea and the concept and the philosophy of community policing. We’ve seen some of the challenges and we’re looking at ways to continue building that relationship with the community and yes, this is an approach to say that yes, we want to build on that and not to lose that confidence and trust in the Police Department and the Police Officers.”

 

Reporter

“I know there is a move away from the media being able to contact Police Officers because that’s traditionally how we’ve had to do it to get any information. Is this a move away from that to where the media will now call you?”

 

Douglas Hyde

“The Public Relation Unit now will focus on information in and outside the Eastern Division, so any interviews or any information will come through the Public Relations Unit unless the Police Officers are directly doing interviews. So ourselves, both the Press Officer and myself, will be the persons who will be directly contacted within the Police Department, specifically the Eastern Division. I’m very optimistic and excited. This is something that I’ve been doing for almost the eight years that I’ve been in the Police Department at community policing. We’ve been promoting and of course showing our activities and programs within the Police Department. I’ve been doing this nationally so for me this is just an official position now in terms to assist the Eastern Division specifically in the area of public relations, so I’m of course excited.”

 

According to Hyde, he’ll be dealing with the Eastern Division for now, while Press Officer Martinez will continue to deal with the countrywide dissemination of information. 

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Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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