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Jan 21, 2015

32 Officers Become Instructors of GREAT Program

A group of police officers have successfully completed an intensive eight day training program. It is part of the community policy strategy of the police department that is carried out under the GREAT program. The officers were taught how to sharpen their skills to keep youths away from crime at an early age. The Biltmore Plaza was overflowing for the event and Duane Moody was there.

 

Duane Moody, Reporting

At the graduation ceremony of the GREAT Training Program for instructors, thirty-two police men and women were awarded for successfully completing the eight-day exercise. The program was installed back in 2009 and since then, approximately forty officers have been trained regionally as instructors. Today, the community policing unit of the department grew by an additional thirty-two officers to its human resources.

 

Allen Whylie

Allen Whylie, Commissioner of Police

“It’s an important day for the Belize Police Department as we complete our first gang resistance education and training or as affectionately known, GREAT officers course in our own country, Belize, for the very first time. The training which was one a half week duration, I understand, commenced with thirty-six participants comprising of two sergeants, five corporals and twenty-nine police constables from across the entire country.  I’m aware that some of the participants here today are not attached to our community policing units in their respective formations. Nonetheless, their selection was a deliberate decision on this police administration’s part as it is our intent that the department’s community policing strategy becomes the dominant policing philosophy within the Belize Police Department.”

 

The Gang Resistance Education And Training program is an important component of the Central American Region Security Initiative. The officers completed eighty hours of intense training…all in an effort to improve their skills to deal with at risk youths that the program targets.

 

Carlos Moreno

Carlos Moreno, U.S. Ambassador to Belize

“I think that the role that all of you can and will play will have a significant impact on the lives of the children and students that you reach. We simply need to reach out to our young people at an early age and in my mind as I’ve seen in the trial courts for twenty-five years, that age is getting younger and younger when you’ve got to reach out these kids before they are lured into the gang culture and criminal activity. And that is why, in my mind, it is so important because you—whether collectively or individually—may be all that stands between a life of promise and a life under the best of circumstances in many of our communities is very difficult and very challenging. Each of you will be impacting many young lives; teaching children to make positive, responsible, life-changing decisions.”

 

Ron Doyle facilitated the training, which he says looks at fostering the potential of the youth.

 

Ron Doyle

Ron Doyle, Facilitator

“I’ve spent over twenty years working with youths; I’ve seen and participated in a lot of different programs. I’ve seen a lot of research on those programs and I can tell you from personal experience as well as from research that I’ve studied that there is one thing—no matter what the program, no matter what the modality—that makes more difference than anything else and that one thing is relationship. The relationships that you build with children will change their lives one way or the other.”

 

According to Ambassador Carlos Moreno, the Police Department will benefit from another round of training for more officers to further boost the community policing unit. Duane Moody for News Five.

 

Over six thousand students have graduated from the GREAT program. 

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