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Oct 25, 2016

A Homecoming for Minister of State and Ex-Senior Cop Elodio Aragon Junior

Minister of State for Home Affairs, Elodio Aragon Junior, says he is coming home. No, he’s not stepping down as minister, but he is now in direct charge of the Police Department – a familiar territory for the career police officer who topped out as Deputy Commissioner of Police three years ago while in line for the top job. We spoke to the new minister after his first Cabinet meeting in that capacity and he says that his time with a different portfolio – Education, Youth, Sports and Culture – helped him understand the social side of crime. But it’s now time, he added, to get back to the beat.

 

Elodio Aragon Jr., Minister of State, Home Affairs

“At the end of the day, you know, my whole career has been policing, and it’s like going back home. But I will tell the public that going back to the police, I am going back with a lot of enthusiasm; I am going with a mindset that will focus on trying to solve some of our crime issues in this country. It’s not an easy task; I think out of all our ministries, this is one of the most challenging areas as a minister and I think as a nation likewise. I think that there is a lot that I can contribute especially with the skills that I have, the training that I come with and the knowledge that I have from serving as a police officer for many years and I will do my best to try to look at where we are as a police department and where we need to move it to ensure that we improve on the crime situation here in this country.”

 

Elodio Aragon Jr.

Reporter

Sir, from the beginning when you were elected, wouldn’t this have been the most reasonable and plausible position to put a career officer such as yourself?”

 

Elodio Aragon Jr.

“Well it all depends on how you look at it. Definitely we had a senior minister who had been holding this portfolio for quite some time. I do think that being at the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture was an opportune ministry, likewise, in terms that I could directly influence upon our young people, upon the culture and upon sports, which in one way or the other does impact greatly on our young people. So I think that that ministry gave me a good footing in trying to make a difference at dealing with our young people in this country. Going to the Ministry of Police now is back to the business of looking at the crime situation and I think I am ready and I am poised for that right now and I am focused. Because at the end of the day I want to make a difference for this country; I want to make a difference for the Belize Police Department and of course for all those people who come to this country day in and day out to visit. I want to make this country as safe as can be.  I know there are challenges; there is a lot of challenges out there in all aspects of dealing with the crime situation and the issues that surround and foster crime. So it is a big challenge, but I think I am up to it and I am definitely counting on the support of our police officers countrywide and of course from the support of the general public.”

 

On Friday, the new Minister of State will host an All-Officers’ Conference to get up to speed on the situation with the Police Department at present, from manpower to resources.

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Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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