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Dec 22, 2015

Ladyville Police Kick Off Operation REDSS

Call it Community Policing, Christmas spirit or a combination of both – but whatever it is, it brought smiles to the faces of commuters pulled at random off rural buses today. That’s because the officers of the Rural Eastern Division decided to hand out some Christmas cheer of their own – the kind that folds. The operation kicked off this afternoon near the Sky City Supermarket in Ladyville and Mike Rudon has the story.

 

Mike Rudon, Reporting

Officers from across the Rural Eastern Division set up a checkpoint this afternoon – but it was a selective one targeting buses carrying rural commuters. Without any advance warning persons were chosen at random, taken off the buses and told to stand aside. It had to have been somewhat intimidating – hauled off a bus by the Police, cameras held ready by the local Christmas paparazzi. But the nerves didn’t last long – chased away by the smiles generated by a totally unexpected surprise.

 

{Officer gives instructions}

 

Edward Broaster

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

“This is Operation REDSS, Rural Eastern Division Silent Santa. Our Silent Santa had provided us with two thousand dollars cash, with which we are going to be choosing twenty persons and we will be giving them one hundred dollars each. We have the van here from Caribbean Motors that was graciously provided to us by Caribbean Motors. We hope to take some individuals off the bus, surprise them with the hundred dollars, put them in the van and take them to Belize City to do their shopping and take them back home in the van.”

 

The reactions of commuters were priceless. Without exception they took advantage of the offer to be chauffeured on a shopping expedition and dropped back home in comfort and style. It was an interesting experience for us in the media to see distrust give way to genuine surprise and appreciation.

 

{Officer sensitizing the public on process}

 

Sr. Supt. Edward Broaster

“This is nothing new. It might be new for Belize but they’ve done it in the US. This is an initiative that we came upon from our secret Santa where we want to give back to the community. Too many times people go to court and have to be paying fines. So we want to be finding them pone hundred dollars extra for the Christmas so that they can probably pay some bills, and get something that they weren’t planning to get at all for the Christmas. This is what we want to do. We want to bring cheer to the Rural Eastern Division and make their Christmas a better time so that they can have fun and enjoy a little hundred dollars to make the family feel good.”

 

The money generously offered by a Good Samaritan was dispensed in short order, but there’s no doubt that the goodwill generated will last far longer than that blue bill. Mike Rudon for News Five.

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