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Sep 27, 2018

Taiwan Gifts Belize a Million Dollars in Crime Fighting Equipment

The Taiwanese Government has gifted the Police Department one million dollars in motorcycles and crime fighting equipment.  Last year, the then Minister of Home Affairs Wilfred Ellington lobbied for the monies to strengthen the department’s capacity to tackle crime.  The sum of five hundred thousand dollars was awarded by the Taiwanese, for which the department made a list of equipment to purchase. That donation was officially given today. It features a number of items from technology machines, to drones and new for Belize is the introduction of body cameras to be used by units such as the GSU. Reporter Andrea Polanco attended today’s event and shares more about the donation.

 

Andrea Polanco, Reporting

These one hundred brightly colored red and blue LiFan Motorcyles are a part of a one million dollar gift to the Belize Police Department. The motorcycles and helmets, along with a trove of hand-held radios, body cams, and security digitizing machines, drones, computers, and other crime-fighting equipment were handed over to the Police by Taiwanese Ambassador Charles Liu. The top brass of the department, including the commissioner and deputy commissioners, along with several invited guests, were at the ITVET Compound to witness the handing over. Commissioner of Police Allen Whylie details the items donated.

 

Allen Whylie

Allen Whylie, Commissioner of Police

“We are very pleased to have received these items which includes one hundred and five Lifan Motorcycles; two hundred and ten motorcycle helmets; two hundred and ten body worn cameras; two Cellebrite machines; a Risograph machine; drones; computers; a laptop computer; a hundred hand-held radios. In addition to these equipment on display here, the department will also be receiving very shortly, twenty-five hundred handcuffs and pouches, sixty body armor ballistics vest, as well as thirty  hand-held breath alcohol testers, which have been ordered and they are on their way.”

 

The introduction of these body cams for the department is a new step towards what they say is transparency and accountability.  The cameras will be worn by the units such as the GSU when they are carrying out operations.  Standard operating procedures are being developed and training for the use of the body worn cameras will be carried out before they are used. Minister Elodio Aragon says he would like to see all police officers with wearable cameras, but for now these two hundred  body worn cameras may help the operations units and citizens they encounter.

 

Elodio Aragon Jr

Elodio Aragon Jr., Minister of State, Ministry of National Security

“We believe body cams will go a long way to ensure that the Belize Police Department or the police officer is doing the job they way they should be doing it and likewise we could always have something to go back to in terms of allegations made against the police officer, in terms of abuse of their power or their authority and how they operate whilst on duty.”

 

Reporter

“Is it the purview of the Department to ensure that in specific cases, that video recorded from the body cam will be made public in certain situations where there is public outcry?”

 

Elodio Aragon Jr.

“Well, of course. I think that is there as a recording that will show and could tell the real story that happened because in a lot of situations all you have is the report that is being made by the person who feels that police have abused their authority. I think this will give a clearer indication if the police is at fault, if they are doing wrong or not carrying out their duties effectively, and I do think body cams will definitely be a big improvement in dealing with discipline within the police department, in  dealing with abuses etc.”

 

The cycles and other pieces of equipment will be disbursed countrywide; however, a bulk of it will be used by the SPU, GSU and MIT to strengthen operations particularly in the city. The items, according to Whylie, will be used to strengthen the department’s crime prevention and crime fighting capabilities, is to ultimately help to boost citizens’ security.

 

Allen Whylie

“The donation which resulted in the purchasing of these equipments will certainly result in an increase in our preventative functions, as well as our crime fighting capacity. This should translate into increase, effective and efficient delivery of services to the citizenry of Belize across the length and breadth of this country. Our capability should increase in terms of communication using the newly acquired hand-held radios. High visibility presence not only in high crime areas but all areas, as these motorcycles will be deployed countrywide including to all functional substations, as well as to all district head stations. The process service countrywide should also see improvement, as the prosecution sections will be assigned a motorcycle to ensure that summons and other judicial processes can be served and executed, ultimately to reduce delays in the court and ensure that justice is served. Our preventative patrols, as well as improved response time to calls for service from the community is expected to improve.”

 

Ambassador Charles Liu says that he is pleased with how the five hundred thousand US dollars was used. The diplomat, who was once an officer of the law in his country, expressed his commitment to security initiatives in Belize.

 

Charles Liu

Charles Liu, Taiwanese Ambassador to Belize

“We are going to see that the Commissioner make the best, make the most of every cents of the donations. He is going to procure all the necessary supplies and equipment for our police force. And today, we see the marvelous result. I can understand the hardships, the difficulties, and the tough job that the Belize Police Department has to deal with. So, I can understand and that is why we have to work together. So, that is why I want to make the effort to contribute everything I can for the Department, so that we can work for the safety and security of Belize and its people. I just want to say that you are my sisters and you are my brothers.  All ah we dah one.”

 

Reporting for News Five, I’m Andrea Polanco.

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2 Responses for “Taiwan Gifts Belize a Million Dollars in Crime Fighting Equipment”

  1. Rod says:

    All this equipment will be destroyed in less than a year wanna bet.

  2. cd says:

    By Monday half the radios and cameras will be in a pawn shop. And half the cycles will be crashed or missing.

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