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Oct 14, 2016

Police Graduate New Recruits at Passing Out Parade

Earlier this week, the Police Department got a new set of officers fresh out of the Police Training Academy. With some sixteen weeks of intense training, one of the biggest cohorts of recruits to date marched out in style in front of dignitaries to be officially admitted to the force. Over one hundred and fifty became police officers; among those were some Special Constables, who also trained to become full-fledged officers of the law. News Five was at the passing out ceremony and Andrea Polanco shares how that event went.

 

Andrea Polanco, Reporting

One hundred and sixty six police recruits graduated on Wednesday in full pomp and circumstance at the Police Training Academy in Belmopan. With friends and family in attendance, the new graduates of Squad Recruit number ninety three showed off their salute and the top performers received special recognition. And as is customary, the audience heard just how grueling the recruits found the physical and academic trainings – which they say will help them to serve as police officers:

 

Darwin McFadzean

Darwin McFadzean, Top Recruit

“On June fifth, one hundred and sixty seven young men and women, which later increased to one hundred and sixty eight, entered through the gates of the National Police Training Academy; forsaking the lifestyle of an ordinary civilian and leaving behind our families, friends and loved ones for the duration of training. All of us aspired to embark on this character building and life changing journey We were willing to shed our old way of life, transforming ourselves into police officers. Unfortunately, due to personal circumstances for a few, it resulted in the departure of some individuals.  Since the commencement of training, we faced so many challenges and obstacles. The first challenge was accepting the balding of our heads for the males and for the females; it was maintaining that perfect bun. The second challenge was being able to co-exist with each other, so many individuals from different parts of the country with various beliefs and lifestyle.  We were able to endure the early morning fatigue while battling sleep and attending classes each and every day.  During the academic part of the training, we were taught many core subjects which are essential for executing effectively our duties as proud police officers. These subjects included introduction to law, general police duties, traffic law, criminal law fundamental concepts of policing and philosophy of modern policing, just to name a few. We had also been given lectures and training, both theory and practical which include firearm handling, basic first aid, human rights, mental health training and criminal information system management training and others.”

 

Addressing the new police officers was Minister of Home Affairs Minister and Immigration, Godwin Hulse. Hulse challenged the graduates to step up to the plate to aid in his Ministry’s fight in crime reduction.

 

Godwin Hulse

Godwin Hulse, Minister of Home Affairs and Immigration

“We will set out to strengthen the intelligence service, operations, crime investigation and prosecution units. The goal is to ensure that a proper and speedy case can be put together with the greatest possibility of conviction and ultimate incarceration for those who insist on doing wrong. This should go a long way in ensuring and re-instilling confidence in the work of the police department. Of course, young recruits, to achieve this goal all members of this department and the citizenry at large must work together. The business of this trust and even in some cases the hatred of the police must come to an end. The move to this end must come from your ranks. In this vein, community policing looms large. You must return the police to its past image of a peace officer, a friend of the community, a partner in the fight against crime. You must maintain your dignity and uphold the integrity of the department, for you are the defender of the law and the upholder of what is right. Do not shirk this responsibility and do not ever become an offender of the law and a doer of wrong. This, my young recruits, may seem a burden to some. But if you so think, then flip a coin and focus on the responsibility you take up when you decided to enter this academy and wear that uniform. It brings with it a time honored tradition of respect and righteousness. If you ever deviate from those principles, then I urge you to undone that uniform, fold it, hand it in and walk away from this institution.”

 

Reporting for News Five, I’m Andrea Polanco.

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