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Aug 29, 2018

The National Community Oriented Policing Award Ceremony

The strategy of community policing has been met with a level of success in keeping neighbourhoods safe across the country. The approach allows the police to interact and connect with residents and has helped to build confidence in the work of law enforcement to keep crime down.  A ceremony was held today to honour those who have helped in reducing crime. News Five’s Duane Moody reports.

 

 

Duane Moody, Reporting

Some forty-two awards were issued today by the Belize Police Department to officers, as well as corporate citizens and civilians who have been instrumental in community policing efforts across the country. This afternoon inside the Old Belize Pavilion, cadets as well as neighbourhood watch committee members were honoured for having played an integral role in the reduction of criminal activities in their respective areas.

 

Gerald Jones

ASP Gerald Jones, Commander, Community Oriented Policing Programme

“National Community Oriented Policing Award Ceremony. This is just to give back to our partner agencies, our police officers who continuously work with community policing and be able to market community policing and have us the way we are right now. We will be awarding persons from the different neighbourhood watch groups from around the country, persons from the citizens on patrol programme, voluntary special constables’ programme and also field officers who are community policing officers. We have some partner-agencies who have always been there to assist the community policing and of course the ICs, the persons who are actually in charge.  Last but not least, we are also awarding some of our past commanders who have made us where we are right now.”

 

Corporal Claudius Cardinez, who is attached to the Placencia Police Substation, has been with the department some seven years, serving as a community policing officer. He says that engagement with residents and businesses has had a great impact on policing efforts in the south.

 

Claudius Cardinez

Cpl. Claudius Cardinez, Awardee

“I’ve seen the many ills of the society and the department moving towards better engaging the community and the people to better police Belize. There have been some challenges, albeit minute, some great, out of our control sometimes, we have managed over the years to pull through and get the support of the community. I find that the home visits, the business visits, learning form these people what their concerns are and finding meaningful ways of trying to better our enforcement and communication with the community.”

 

For cadet corporal Khalia Smith from Dangriga. This is her third certificate of appreciation from the Belize Police Department having joined the cadet corps six years ago. She advices other youths, especially those at risk, to join.

 

Khalia Smith

Cadet Cpl. Khalia Smith, Awardee

“It feels really nice because this is not my first award but the third one, but I still appreciate it because I believe I deserve it for all the work that I’ve put in.”

 

Duane Moody

“What advice would you have for other young people, even those that may be at risk of turning to crime?”

 

Cadet Cpl. Khalia Smith

“Well I’d advise them to be a part of the Belize Police Cadet Corps also because it really helps. It helps you to be a better person and to have a better personality. I have learned to be a better leader and be more active in my community and so forth.”

 

Duane Moody for News Five.

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