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Nov 30, 2016

Meeting and Greeting in Southside Belize City

Southside police were on their weekly meet and greet. Today they were in the Vernon Street area and we met up with them to see what they were doing. Some thirty traffic and community police officers were walking around talking to resident and business owners in the area. We caught up with Deputy Commander of the Eastern Division South and he told us that the concerns vary from household to business. He says that they have seen a decrease in the number of criminal activities in that area. He relates that success to the increase in police patrol and improved police-community relations. Here’s what Senior Superintendent Alden Dawson had to say:

 

Alden Dawson

Sr. Supt. Alden Dawson, Deputy Regional Commander, Eastern Division South

“We do find a difference in the concerns from residents to businesses. Residents are more concerned about people loitering around the neighborhood in front of their fence or gates. While the businesses are more concerned about being robbed during the work hours. So, it is a little different.”

 

Andrea Polanco

“So, this information that you gather here; how do you go about addressing the things that you learn when you come on these meet and greet?”

 

Sr. Supt. Alden Dawson

“Okay. What we do, normally what we do after an hour and half we go back and do a de-briefing and then we get it in writing from the officers to see what the concerns of the people are and then we sit down and address it as best as we can. In some cases, it requires an increase in patrol and in some cases it is just to see the police more friendly in some neighborhood; so that may curb some of their concerns.”

 

Andrea Polanco

“Now, this little area that we are in, a lot of incidents have happened in this area; how receptive and open are people to the police?”

 

Sr. Supt. Alden Dawson

“Well, we have been well received by people in this area. And like you rightly said, we have had some incidents in this area and we have since put a mandatory patrol in this area and we have boost up even the mobile patrol in the area to curb that situation.”

 

Andrea Polanco

“How is that- the mandatory measures – that you have put in place; how has that worked out so far? Are you seeing a drop in incidents happening over this side?”

 

Sr. Supt. Alden Dawson

“Yes. We do see a fall in incidents in this area and what we do most of the time because of numbers; we are a bit short on numbers. So, what we do, we put them in at the time when we get the complaint at the time when the crime is up.”

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