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Jun 23, 2016

Police Department Rehabilitates Daker’s Park

With assistance from various business houses, the police department stepped up to the plate big time. An abandoned playground in Mesopotamia got a facelift and was inaugurated today as the Daker’s Park for the use of children in one of the city’s hotspots.  The police believe that the park will provide an outlet to positively occupy youths and keep them out of harm’s way. News Five’s Duane Moody reports.

 

Duane Moody, Reporting

A small playground on West Street, adjacent and parallel to George Street in south side Belize City, was rehabilitated and retrofitted with a new swing and slide set, seesaw and picnic tables by Eastern Division South of the Belize Police Department. Dubbed Daker’s Park, it will provide children from the neighborhood with an open space to recreate after school and on weekends. Today, it was officially opened to the public as part of the community policing efforts of the department.

 

Chester Williams

ACP Chester Williams, Regional Commander, Eastern Division South

“Daker’s Park has been here for quite some time. I was told that this area used to be a public water reservoir and couple years ago, the reservoir was removed and a park was put in place. But over the years, the park deteriorated and when I was told of the park in this area and knowing that there is no outlet for the young children in this area to play in the evening time or on weekends, myself and my commanders decided that we are going to take up the responsibility to try and bring the park back to function.”

 

With support from corporate sponsors, the officers were able to fill, paint and install the various elements of the playground. Pine Lumber Company Limited is among the many donors.

 

Vicky Segura Pinelo

Vicky Segura Pinelo, Rep., Pine Lumber Co. Ltd.

“Our communities are in desperate economic condition; many of our parks and schools are suffering. Many have exhausted their resources and funds, but it is the partnership with organizations and businesses that we can enhance the betterment of our communities through initiatives such as this.”

 

While the park has been adopted by the police department, it falls under the mandate of the City Council. But the new facility will be used by the children of the Mesopotamia Youth Group.

 

Shyne Barrow

Shyne Barrow, Rep., Mesopotamia Youth Group

“It’s on all of us; it is all of our responsibility to participate in grooming these kids because the criminals are filling that void where they don’t have fathers, their mothers are busy working. So the criminals are grooming them to be criminals. The Youth Group of Mesopotamia, they really pushed this; they were telling me about this for quite some time and this shows that if the children are supported that they will go in the right direction, but they need that support. And this is proof of that because this was their initiative and I am so grateful that the Assistant Commission along with the sponsors were able to support them and we need to continue these types of efforts all throughout Belize because they need us and if we don’t help them, the criminals are there to take up that vacuum, that void and turn them into criminals.”

 

But what about safety? According to Assistant Commissioner of Police Chester Williams, the park falls in proximity to the Mesop Police Substation to deter any criminal activity in the public space.

 

ACP Chester Williams

“The police will be responsible to make sure that the park is upkept and they will make frequent checks to make sure that the children are safe while using the facilities. And I must say that there is also an active youth group in the area, under the supervision of Miss Burgess, of young community activists who have also pledged her support to ensure that the park is not used for any illegal activities and that no one comes and take things out of the park, defacing he park as the case may be. We want to maintain the park in its situation that it is. It is not a place for gangsters to come and hang out, but at the end of the day, it is a park and we encourage all to come and use the park, but they must use it in a positive way.”

 

The project is valued at approximately six thousand dollars. Duane Moody for News Five.

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