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Jan 11, 2017

Police Take New Tack in Media Relationship

The relationship between the Belize Police Department and the local media has, for the most part, been a mutually beneficial arrangement.  We have been able to provide you, our viewers, with firsthand official information on crime-related matters, as well as initiatives undertaken by the law enforcement agency to address these social issues.  The past few days, however, have seen a freezing over of that cooperation when the senior command decided to funnel critical information through its press officer, as opposed to maintaining the status quo.  That established order allowed for commanders in the respective jurisdictions to freely impart information with reporters.  Since Friday, we have been met with a virtual firewall, hardly being able to penetrate the department for interviews.  Today, the media met at length with the Ministry of Home Affairs and the brass of the police department to hammer out the way forward.  While a compromise has been agreed to, the road ahead will not be as smooth as it has been since 2013.

 

Elodio Aragon Jr.

Elodio Aragon Jr., Minister of Police

“This is just to streamline the way police information is passed on to the media in regards to information that is needed by them for their newscast.  Today I think we had a good sit down with the media and their personalities, along with the police commanders from Belize City and of course the personnel who work in the media office of the police department.  This was in an effort to streamline how information is passed on from the police department to the media and vice versa.  I think it was a very productive meeting and I think that at the end of the day all our media personalities understand, media houses understand what we are trying to do to look at the way forward in ensuring that we have a good working relationship because at the end of the day the media is our partner and we want them to understand how important and how much we value them as a part of the society we live in and we want to continue to have that good working relationship with the media.  Today we called this gathering not only to look at the issues in terms of the media, but likewise to address the nation and give an official report in regards to the statistics that govern crime for the year 2016 in comparison to 2015.  Likewise, we also took the time out today since we had invited the media to come and also have lunch today in regards to building that partnership with them.”

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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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