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May 13, 2015

New Police Station Inaugurated in Crooked Tree

There is a brand new Police Station in Crooked Tree. Actually it’s been in use since it was completed in October 2013, but today it was officially inaugurated with much fanfare. It’s an impressive structure which will house two officers, with facilities adequate to serve the needs of the small, generally quiet community. News Five was there for the cutting of the ribbon and Mike Rudon has the story.

 

Mike Rudon, Reporting

This large, almost brand new two-storey building is an addition to the community which is certainly welcome. According to political representative Edmond Castro, it has been a long time coming but where a full-time, fully capable Police presence is concerned, it’s definitely better late than never.

 

Edmond Castro

Edmond Castro, Area Rep., Belize Rural North

“When I got elected there was a shell that was here that we called the Police Station which it was impossible for any policing activity to take place. That old Police Station shell went through three area representatives before me, and I promised the people of Crooked Tree that we would make sure that we try to make sure that we get a better facility for them here at Crooked Tree so we lobbied to the Minister of National Security and also to the Prime Minister and Cabinet for assistance in helping with the construction of a Police Station in Crooked Tree, and here we are today.”

Thanks largely, says Castro, to the efforts of the Minister of National Security John Saldivar who was present this morning, along with other top brass of the Belize Police Department.

 

John Saldivar

John Saldivar, Minister of National Security

“It affords me the opportunity to personally appeal to each and every one of you in this community to partner with the Police to rid this village of the criminal elements and crime which may appear from time to time. You may recall the challenges you had to live with prior to the opening of this Police Station. Those arrangements were not only inadequate but unacceptable. So it did not take much to convince me as the Minister responsible for National Security to have the construction of a new facility here at Crooked Tree.”

 

The Police Station provides space for the OC, a reception and customer service area, a cafeteria, cellblocks and restrooms…as well as accommodations for both the staff and the OC and his family. But for a Police Department which suffers from a chronic and deplorable lack of human and other resources, there is always a need for much more.

 

John Saldivar

“I’m still mindful that there is need for more and if we are to maintain the levels of safety and security that our people deserve in this beautiful village, we must continue to do more. While this facility brings tangible benefits to our policing efforts, as Minister of National Security I recognize that considerable work must be done to develop our uniformed services and their capacities here in the village. We must adapt to the new security challenges that are being fashioned more and more by certain criminal elements if we are to continue to protect our people and ensure a sustainable development for the village.”

 

Although the official inauguration was today, the cell-block in this facility has already been home to residents of the community who warranted secure accommodations…and certainly not by choice. Mike Rudon for News Five.

 

The Crooked Tree Police Station is valued at almost three hundred thousand dollars.

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