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Jul 11, 2018

Cops Awarded for Long Service

In the month of June, the Ministry of Public Service observed ‘public service month’ and honored those who have been working for a long time in the public service. The ministry is now rewarding over three hundred and fifty police officers and civilian staff working in Belize City with the Belize Police Department.  Similar programmes will be held in other parts of the country to recognize officers and civilian staff with ten and up to twenty years.  Today about half of that number was honored with a service at the Bird’s Isle Basketball Court. Andrea Polanco shares more in the following story.

 

Andrea Polanco, Reporting

Today more than one hundred and fifty police officers and civilian staff of the Belize Police Department in Belize City were recognized with the Ministry of Public Service’s ‘Long Service Award.’ Each officers with more than ten years and up to twenty years in the force received a pin and certificate to commemorate this milestone.

 

Allen Whylie

Allen Whylie, Commissioner of Police

“I will be giving them the pins, as well as the certificates prepared by the Ministry of Public Service. But not only that, I will be thanking them for their years of service not only to the Police Department, but to the Government and people of Belize, by extension.”

 

Inspector Elroy Carcamo is one of the officers being rewarded for seventeen years as police officer. He has worked across a number of areas in force – today is the head of community policing for six years now.

 

Elroy Carcamo

Inspector Elroy Carcamo, Long Service Awardee

“I think being in the department you have to do what you love and once you do what you love, you will find a way to get through it for so long. And doing what you love means doing it and not expecting anything but doing it just on your free will in wanting to see your community and by doing so you will be able to last very long within the department.”

 

Andrea Polanco

“What motivates you every day on the job?”

 

Inspector Elroy Carcamo

“What motivates me is trying to do good for my community. The community itself has been just and nice to me and by doing so, every morning you want to see a difference and for the betterment for the community and that is what motivates me.”

 

Andrea Polanco

“Where do you see yourself in another ten years? Still in the Force?”

 

Inspector Elroy Carcamo

“Well, I hope that I will still be in the force in another ten years and maybe sitting at the commissioner’s level – we never know. It is an ambition that everyone wants and needs to look at when you join the police department. It is just take it one day at a time.”

 

The Belize Police Department is made up of some two-thousand two-hundred officers.  By no means is that number enough man power to police the streets of Belize – and for that reason it hoped that the number can get to three thousand in the near future. But while enough boots on the ground is an ongoing concern – the officers’ welfare is much talked about – including the issue of salaries. We asked Commissioner of Police how that matter is being addressed.

 

Allen Whylie

“There is always issue of pay. I don’t think none of us would ever be satisfied in terms of the salary we make. It is a unique career we are doing and like other public officers we put our lives on the line on a daily basis. So, yes, there is always the need to look at remuneration and those things continue to be looked at. Government, I believe, has been fair with us over the past few years and again we are looking forward to any increases that can be given to department as well as to the wider public service. We know the financial position and so we can’t put our caps higher than our heads.”

 

Reporting for News Five, I’m Andrea Polanco.

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