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Aug 22, 2014

Citizens On Patrol Program Launched by Police Department

The Citizens on Patrol Program, COPS, is an initiative by the Belize Police Department designed to enhance community participation and foster better communities. It’s by no means a novel idea or a first of its kind program in Belize – we’ve seen different incarnations in different districts over the years. But it’s always fizzled out. So the Police Auxiliary Unit is taking its time and doing it right – with proper recruitment, training and support. Today we found the new and improved pilot project in Belize City, with citizen recruits getting ready to take to the streets. Veteran Police Officer and National Coordinator for the Police Auxiliary Unit Rudolph Orio is in charge of the program.

 

Rudolph Orio, National Coordinator, Police Auxiliary Unit

Rudolph Orio

“The Citizens on Patrol Program really is reared from the citizenry itself to come forward and contribute their hours to the department, to their community, number one, to enhance the quality of life within those communities that are failing. We strongly believe that with the assistance of the community, people living within their own area will enhance the quality of life one hundred percent, but to be able to live with it. It is different from Hollywood actually, and it is different from the American case. Our citizens on Patrol will not be armed, They will not have powers of arrest. They will be highly visible, with a brown or khaki polo shirt marked Citizen on Patrol, like mine that you see here. They have a baseball cap marked Citizens on Patrol, COPS on the front, and they will be issued with the handheld radios so that they’ll be able to communicate more freely with the control centre and the sector leaders.”

 

Reporter

“There is a sense of fear in the community right now in certain areas, in certain hotspots. Is it the fear of the Police that these Citizens on Patrol might be targeted because you might not be able to attack an armed Police officer, so you might take it out on these Citizens on Patrol?”

 

Rudolph Orio

“Let me put it this way. I did thirty-seven years with the Police Department. In my whole thirty-seven years there were two cops killed outrightly. The level of violence towards Police officers is very low in this country in comparison with the Caribbean and in comparison with Central America. We have not reached that level yet and thank God that it is at this level where it’s manageable and controllable. Our people will be advised to know when to withdraw, not to have confrontations, not to have idle talk with anybody on the streets. Their sole thing will be to observe and to report. So that alone brings down the risk to a very low level.”

 

The COP Program is a voluntary initiative. This group will form the core of the pilot project, but the plan is to take the initiative countrywide.

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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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3 Responses for “Citizens On Patrol Program Launched by Police Department”

  1. Uncle Benji says:

    Lawd Gawd, power in the hands of Cruffys. Are we sure this is the right thing to do? How qualified are the organizers of this ridiculous idea?

    Bwai, you under arrest. Put yu hands pan the wall. Screw you Cruffy. You can not arrest me. Mi pa gat money.

    This is a Cruffy nightmare waiting to happen.

  2. daniel says:

    wait I don’t recall seeing any legislation or statutory Instrument or gazette on making any of this legal? I hope they have explained that to the people they participate at their own risk??? anything happens to them they be on their own Bro!!! show me the law that make Volunteers COP and Special Constable legal? and show me the liability protection for the civilians that participate in this? is GOB selling land without a title to only get that USA CARSI money again?

  3. reatph says:

    once a cop always a cop.

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