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Dec 18, 2015

167 New Police Officers Hit the Streets Running

After months of intense training, one hundred and sixty-seven new officers joined the police force today. Their graduation took place at the National Police Training Academy in the Capital. Family and friends beamed with pride as the officers were formally admitted to the force. On Monday, they take on assignments across the country. Duane Moody was on hand for the graduation.

 

RPC Henry Lopez, Recipient, Baton of Honor

“Today, this very day, we leave here full fledge police officers equipped with vast knowledge and eager to serve Belize, our country.”

 

Duane Moody, Reporting

A new group of persons has given up their civilian status to join the rank and file of the Belize Police Department as officers. At the Police Training Academy in Belmopan, one hundred and sixty-seven recruits graduated to become police officers after completing some sixteen weeks of intense training in discipline, tactical skills and policing procedures.

 

Henry Lopez

RPC Henry Lopez

“Our first introduction into this academy was on the discipline and standard this academy holds and most important what is expected of us. As mixed emotions of excitement, fear and anxiety flooded our minds and hearts, we geared ourselves to conquer anything that could have possibly be thrown at us. We stood our ground and battled these sixteen weeks with the energy we acquired from the best food on earth. We stayed on the grind for approximately seventeen hours per day, every day. Each and every one of us came here sacrificing every single thing so that we can achieve our personal goals—be it intellectual, physical or financial. We came here sacrificing everything we had home; our families, friends and loved ones in order to pursue this noble carrier to secure you the citizens of this country. We endured long exhausting weeks, days, hours to get in shape mentally and physically all in effort to develop our capacity to tackle the crimes in our country.”

 

The newly installed police officers were all tested and seven officers were honored with awards for excellence. The First place in First Aid was Diyan Barrera, first place in human rights was Cynthia Turner; Christian Cawich was first place in physical training, while female recruit Eleanor Ayala got first place in shooting qualification. The Commandant’s Prize went to Allan Domingo. Marina Dawson was second in Written Exams because Henry Lopez got top marks in that category and was dubbed most consistent. Lopez also received a third—and the highest award—the Baton of Honor for his overall performance over the past four months.

 

RPC Henry Lopez

“On August thirtieth, one hundred and seventy-two recruits entered that gate of the academy as common civilians and as the weeks went by, more entered and sadly we lost more on the way. But today we stand before you one hundred and sixty-seven strong. It was really a tough journey; not to mention our individual injuries and personal struggles we all went through. Instructors constantly encouraged us that we had to push on and we did. During our academic training, we were taught many basic core subjects such as traffic laws, criminal law, introduction to law, general police duties, philosophy of the modern policing and many more focusing mainly on police duties and procedures.”

 

Squad number ninety-two is the sixth group of recruits installed into the department since the appointment of John Saldivar as Minister of National Security in 2012. Saldivar says that the academy has been a continuous source of providing high standard, quality officers to keep the citizenry secured.

 

John Saldivar, Minister of National Security

“The number of police officers has grown from just over a thousand when I took office in 2012 to almost two thousand in September of 2015 and with this new squad, it will surpass two thousand and sixty-seven. You may recall that three years ago, Belize was one of the countries in the region and the world with the highest homicide rate per thousand population. One of my government’s primary concerns then with citizen security was the issue of lack of public confidence in our police department and in our capacity to protect our citizens and ensure justice. We knew that if our citizens lacked confidence in the police or in the judiciary or other public authorities, no amount of repression would restore security. The success of our law enforcement system depends on the willingness of all to participate and contribute to public safety.”

 

John Saldivar

While the recruit members took the oath on Thursday in Belmopan, today they were officially given their certificates of completion to become officers. On Monday, they all report to police stations across to country.

 

John Saldivar

“We do serious crime statistical analysis in our department now, for all the areas of the country and so we know where they hotspots are. And in collaboration with the officers that are in charge and the regional commanders and the commissioner of police, they make the decision of where to deploy. But it is based on statistical analysis. Majority of the population is in that urban area and so it is the area that needs the most in terms of boots on the streets and other policing strategies so yes, Belize City is going to get a bulk of these recruits, new police officers, I should say.”

 

Reporter

“Which other districts will these officers be sent to?”

 

John Saldivar

“All the districts, all the precincts, all the regions will get some. How much they get again, like I said, depends on how the commissioner looks at the crime statistics to see where the hotspots are. I know though that the Cayo district is the second in line in terms of the crime situation so Cayo district will get quite a few of these also.”

 

Duane Moody for News Five.

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2 Responses for “167 New Police Officers Hit the Streets Running”

  1. Lindon ordonez says:

    WHAT A SHAME BASIC THINGS LIKE THE CAP BADGE CANNOT BE PROVIDED. MEIN WHAT A PITY?

  2. Belizean Pride says:

    more pot belly officers to be soon.

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