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Dec 21, 2016

7 Traffic Officers Get Recognized by City Hall

Spare a thought, as you drive bumper-to-bumper in our crowded City this week, for the traffic officers. Those from the Transport Department, City Traffic Department, and officers manning the checkpoints on key streets have a tough time of it when the crawl slows and impatient drivers find it necessary to go after the Police just for doing their jobs. Checkpoints serve a useful purpose – to keep an eye on illegal activity involving vehicles. Those who man them got a nice gesture of support from City Hall and the Police Department today, as correspondent Aaron Humes reports.

 

Aaron Humes Reporting:

The police officers assigned to conducting traffic through our small City may have the roughest job of all men and women in khaki and blue. After all, it is they who have to suffer the slings and arrows of annoyed drivers of vehicles large and small, who are occasionally caught unprepared to face up to the checkpoints they set up at key intersections on narrow streets, whether in bright hot sun or pouring rain, and as a result vent their frustrations when cautioned. But in addition to their superiors at the Belize Police Department, the Belize City Council wants them to know that their efforts are appreciated. This morning, that came in the form of a photo-op with the City’s chief executive, Mayor Darrell Bradley.

 

Darrell Bradley

Darrell Bradley, Belize City Mayor

“We have in certain areas of our operations, tremendous partnerships with the Police, particularly in the area of traffic, because we have a Belize City Traffic Department and then there is also the Police Department’s Traffic Control Unit. And so what we wanted to do was to symbolically recognize outstanding police officers who, throughout the year, have cooperated with us. They are on the streets right now, with checkpoints, and working with joint patrols and things like that with the City Council. So we wanted to honor and recognize those persons, both with a certificate of recognition to really say that you are doing an outstanding job, and we really appreciate the partnership, and also with a cash token around this Christmas season, just to say that we really appreciate the work that you are doing.”

 

In his formal address, the Mayor noted that as with traffic policing, so with all law enforcement: resources and cooperation from the public get the job done, right. That’s why, he said, all of us have our part to play.

 

Darrell Bradley

“Today, in recognizing these individuals, we are honouring the service that each and every one of you give to the flow of traffic in our City and to the policing in our City. I want to just give a brief word on this notion of policing: I think that too often our Police Department [takes] a hit, because they place the burden on you, oftentimes without the appropriate resources. And we see policing as a Police Department responsibility: and I think that that is very flawed logic – policing is a community responsibility. And so when we speak about keeping our city safe, we are speaking about a responsibility which falls to each and every one of us, citizens and members of the community, to ensure that we are doing our part to make Belize City a better place.”

 

The senior officer in charge of traffic for Precinct Two in Eastern Division South, Corporal Vidal Cajun, explained that drivers should not take the give-and-take at these gateways too personally, because their safety is paramount.

 

Vidal Cajun

Cpl. Vidal Cajun, Chief of Traffic, Precinct Two

“Sometimes, we are out there especially when we are doing checkpoints, and we encounter several challenges in which people confront us, and we just have to go along with what we have to do; what we have to do, we do it.”

 

Aaron Humes

“How do you advise residents to cooperate with Police in the handling of those checkpoints, because they can be irritating?”

 

Cpl. Vidal Cajun

“I just want them to understand that if you commit a violation you need to get punished for it – I don’t say punished but you need to get a ticket, and that is basically what we do out there – issue tickets on whatever traffic violations we find that they have committed.”

 

One of Corporal Cajun’s young officers, Woman Constable Camisha Holliday, asks for the driving public to be patient, especially in this busy festive season.

 

Camisha Holliday

WPC Camisha Holliday, Traffic Officer

“I am very grateful for the award today; it really feels good to be appreciated and to be recognized for the hard work that we put in. Working at traffic is a lot of work; and again, as the Corporal said, the checkpoints – most people don’t understand that it’s something that is really necessary; so we just ask the community to work along with us.”

 

Aaron Humes reporting for News Five.

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