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Mar 27, 2015

City Hosts First Ever BLACK March

Today, the Eastern Division of the Belize Police Department held a BLACK March. It’s an initiative to take back the city, which has been consumed by gang warfare in the north and south sides. An estimated thirteen hundred persons participated in the march that started from the Community Policing Offices on Caesar Ridge and ended at the Battlefield Park after stopping at the various hotspots in the city. Duane Moody was there and has this story.

 

Duane Moody, Reporting

Be Loving And Cease Killing! Hundreds of Belize City residents participated in a BLACK March to highlight the effects of violence in the city. Students, men and women, even gang members joined the police as they march through the streets stopping at hotspots across the city. At six-thirty this morning, what is now estimated at almost thirteen hundred persons started registering and getting their white and black T-shirts before taking a six mile trek through main thoroughfares of the Old Capital, periodically stopping at the different gang territories, where many Belize City youths have lost their lives.

 

Sr. Supt. Edward Broaster, Deputy Commander, Eastern Division

“We want that kind of energy galvanized from the community to participate in the different programs that we have outlined; to bring about a cease to the killing in the city.”

 

Dezerie Phillips

ACP Dezerie Phillips, Commander, Eastern Division

“We purchased and we got support from the business community for over thirteen hundred shirts and they are all gone. So that’s the numbers we can say we have out here.”

 

The participation of many youths, well-known to police and the public as gang affiliates, was a testament of the efforts made to curb gang wars across the city. It is part of the “Not In My City” Campaign, says Assistant Commissioner of Police and Commander of the Eastern Division, Dezerie Phillips.

 

ACP Dezerie Phillips

“This initiative is yet another chapter of the Not In My City campaign and as we always do we always look for innovative and creative ways on how we can extend our partnership with the community. This march is another example of one of those. The success has been overwhelming; it has been a great success and the success doesn’t belong to us, it belongs to the general public.”

 

A powerful stop in the march was at the Lord Ridge Cemetery on the George Price Highway. It was an emotional moment for many who have lost friends and relatives to gun violence and crime. A moment of silence was observed to pay homage to the fallen ones.

 

The march also saw the participation of several primary schools, including the standard five and six students of Central Christian School. Principal, Jermaine Crawford, says that since the school has benefited from the Gang Resistance Education And Training (GREAT) Program, he found it fitting for students to come forward and support. The students are also from these neighborhoods.

 

Jermaine Crawford

Jermaine Crawford, Principal, Central Christian School

“We work closely with the police. I mean we use them, we need them, we liaise with them and it is only fitting and fair that we give back. We must teach our students how to support; we must teach our community how to support. It is not just those who are victims of. One day it could any one of us and we must bring an awareness to the school. Our children are from these communities and sometimes teachers don’t understand and we don’t realize the realities that these children live in and their present situation.”

 

The police say that there are many more initiatives that will be carried out to further promote community-policing in the city.

 

Edward Broaster

Sr. Supt. Edward Broaster

“BLACK as a part of Not in My City Campaign is a movement that the police is embarking upon to try and bring about that peace and unity with the community as well as with the community and the police. We have several programs that we will be rolling out. I mentioned the music wars which will be writing and recording songs that will send positive messages against crime and violence in the city. And we want the different neighborhood youths to come up with these songs as you see the talented music sung by TY and his group. We will definitely have a lot more programs coming on stream with this BLACK and Not in My City.”

 

Duane Moody for News Five.

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1 Response for “City Hosts First Ever BLACK March”

  1. Retired CEO says:

    Black march carries a ” Bad Omen” It is depicts certain death and hopelessness. Very sad day in the jewel!

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