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Aug 16, 2016

Anti-Drug and Life Skills Summer Program Closes in Belize City

Today, the Eastern Division South Police Department hosted a closing ceremony for a second summer program hosted by its community policing unit at the Gateway Youth Center on south side Belize City. Partnering with Belize Electricity Limited, the department taught some forty-five children about life skills and the dangers of using and abusing drugs. News Five’s Duane Moody reports.

 

Duane Moody, Reporting

Another two-week summer camp hosted by officers attached to the Community Policing Unit of Eastern Division South concluded today in Belize City. Some forty-five school-aged children from various neighborhoods participated in a program that sought to teach them life skills through sports and academics. They were also taken on educational trips and taught about drug abuse and its effects.

 

Brent Hamilton

Insp. Brent Hamilton, Commander, National K-9 Unit

“We had different youths from cadets, from all over, even youths with some physical challenge. The idea of the program is that in the morning we did worship. We did some classes with the GREAT Summer Program and we had N.G.O.s from NDACC who came to talk about drugs and the harms and effect of drugs. We did educational trips and we did sports in the afternoon. I believe a summer camp should have a diversity of all these things so to complete a person when it comes to the full growth of being a young person.”

 

According to coordinator, Inspector Brent Hamilton, the program was supported by Belize Electricity Limited. But how important is it to have events like these to police the Old Capital?

 

Chester Williams

ACP Chester Williams, Regional Commander, Eastern Division South

“This summer program sponsored by B.E.L., again great support. We still have our Eastern Division South Cup sponsored by B.T.L., great support; you know we have our GREAT Summer Programs, sponsored by the U.S. Embassy, great support. So I must say that from the police standpoint, we are doing a lot to ensure that we try to keep our young people on the right track; to ensure that we keep them out of the hands of those persons that may want to use them to perpetrate criminal acts and it is working. Over the summer we have not had much incidents where young people are concerned and it just goes to show that the effort of the police on south side is paying dividend where the crime situation is concerned.”

It was an interesting experience for eleven-year-olds Destiny Grinage and Khalil Crawford, who say that the camp changed their perspective.

 

Destiny Grinage

Destiny Grinage, Participant

“It went good for me because we learned about sportsmanship and how to work with each other so I had lot of fun. Like me, I didn’t like sports, but now I like to play basketball, football, volleyball.”

 

Khalil Crawford, Participant

“It was surprising; we had some people coming over showing us about drugs and alcohol. Mostly I learned about how it can affect you and stuff. And then we had a trip to…I don’t remember what it name, but it’s in Belmopan. We could visit there a lot of times. I really will miss this place a lot.”

 

Khalil Crawford

Duane Moody

“What was your favorite part of the camp?”

 

Khalil Crawford

“Well my favorite part was playing sports and visiting other places.”

 

Duane Moody for News Five.

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