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Nov 16, 2016

Police Officers Recognized for Hard Work at Special Ceremony

The Police Department’s regular recognition and award ceremonies in Eastern Division have become as much a staple of the news as the crime they try to stop and solve. It is part of an image makeover for one of the hardest professions in Belize, and often the least appreciated. Today the press was invited over to Queen Street for the latest such ceremony, honouring work done in the month of October, and got an intimate look at how the Department is trying to cultivate good police men and women and future leaders. Aaron Humes has more.

 

Aaron Humes, Reporting

A busy Wednesday at Belize’s oldest Police precinct began with a moment of celebration for twenty dedicated police officers whose hard work, leadership and communication skills did not escape the attention of their superiors in the past month.

Corporal Darrell Usher was one of ten officers recognized by Assistant Commissioner Edward Broaster and his deputy, Assistant Superintendent Juanito Cocom. He was one of four officers from Rural Eastern Division, based in Hattieville, who stopped a group of teen runaways and would-be burglars from escaping with almost four thousand dollars in stolen goods.

 

Darrell Usher

Cpl. Darrell Usher, Hattieville Police

“They had some kids that escaped from the youth facility at mile twenty-one. While myself and other officers were in pursuit of them, I managed to detain them. We found out that they were in a vehicle which earlier that morning, a female came in and reported a burglary and it was inth e same area that we found the kids. Thereafter, we conducted searches where we recovered all the stolen items in the said vehicle and the lady positively identified the items as hers out of the same burglary that occurred the night.”

 

Reporter

“I imagine this must be a proud moment for you. Talk to us about what it is like to have received this award and to receive the recognition of senior officers?”

 

Cpl. Darrell Usher

“Well it is a good feeling because it shows you that your work is not going unseen. And it motivates you to motivate others who work along with you to show them that if you go out and do a good job, they will be recognized.”

 

The Strike Teams are a recent creation of the Department, actively roaming Belize City streets looking to stop crime in progress and remove instruments of crime from causing harm. Woman Police Constable Mariela Garcia, recognized for her work with the Northside band, is a rare breed in her profession, but that only makes her all the more dedicated.

 

Mariela Garcia

WPC Mariela Garcia, Strike Team, Eastern Division North

“I believe that it helps the department because having a lot of these stuff removed from the streets will reduce a lot of the crimes happening. Like the guns that we found; it would remove the men or even from them trying to attack someone at the time…then we can remove that before they do it. So it is almost like prevention.”

 

You may recognize now-Sergeant of Police Gino Peck from his run-in with the law over firearms found under his bed a few years ago. He avoided serious penalties in that case with the firm support of the Department, and after a promotion, he now supervises officers in Precinct One – and continues to be the humble, dedicated cop whose unassuming ways touched a nation.

 

Sgt. Gino Peck, Shift Supervisor, Eastern Division South

“It gives me great pleasure to know that my commanders recognize the work that I do. But it is not only me, it’s a team work.”

 

Reporter

“You are in a supervisory role now. does that change the dynamic that you have to lead a team of officers? You are one of them, but at the same time you are at the top, so to speak.”

 

Gino Peck

Sgt. Gino Peck

“Yes, at times it is challenging because you have to be both admin and at the same time, look at our operational capacity and how we manage our personnel and deploy them as it should be. So at time it is challenging, but as we move from day to day, we manage with the limited resources that we have so we are able to accomplish our goals for the day.”

 

Even the Police detachments from San Pedro and Caye Caulker gave two of their officers, Constables Norman Coye and Leonardo Yama respectively, a moment in the sun.

While the Police Department regularly recognizes exemplary work from its officers, Press Officer for Eastern Division (North), Inspector Fitzroy Yearwood, says that the bigger reward is making sure that all officers can perform to their greatest capacity – and as often happens in this job, even greater.

 

Fitzroy Yearwood

Insp. Fitzroy Yearwood, Press Officer, Eastern Division North

“In Eastern Division, the entire Eastern Division, I know that our officers take the welfare of our personnel very seriously. And a happy camper will give you great results. So it is very important that when these officers come to work, they are equipped with whatever they need the logistics that they need to go out there and perform. And we try our best to not only reward them on one day of the month or one officer of the month, but we try to award them on a daily basis, especially because of the apprehension effort. We try our best to make them comfortable. If you notice, they are well uniformed for the various units that they work. We try our best to provide them with all the equipment that they need. And even myself, go out there and try to take pictures of them on the job that we use for our own archives and sometimes I share it with the media. We try to keep them happy. In order for an officer to perform well, you have to keep that officer happy at all times.”

 

Aaron Humes reporting for News Five.

 

Eastern Division South holds quarterly ceremonies recognizing both police officers and community leaders, while the North and Rural divisions recognize officers on a monthly basis.

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