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May 26, 2011

U.S. Embassy gives the cops guns, armor and more

The US government stepped up to the plate today to assist in the fight against crime. Through a regional initiative which benefits Central American countries and Mexico, it today made available a sizeable donation to the police. News Five’s Jose Sanchez was on hand.

Jose Sanchez, Reporting

Eighty-thousand U.S. dollars of equipment were donated to the Eastern Division better known as the Queen Street Police station.  The crime fighting equipment is part of the U.S. Government’s Central America Regional Security Initiative.

Jennifer Barr

Jennifer Barr, Political/Acting Public Affairs Officer, U.S. Embassy

“The US Embassy prioritizes citizen security—extremely important to us—as well as building capacity in the rule of law. This also includes professionalization of the police. These are some of our major strategies and obviously this fits very much in our goals. These donations which I’ll talk about briefly here in just a moment go toward that professionalization as well as building citizens security and safety. We are very happy to support this capacity building and the professionalization of the police department especially here of Queen Street. Actually today’s donation represents the largest donation to a single unit and this I think goes to how strongly we support Queen Street as well as the Belize Police Department.”

Elodio Aragon

Asst. Commissioner Elodio Aragon, Officer Commanding Eastern Division

“Let me from the outset congratulate the U.S. government and our government in responding to our call for assistance in acquiring basic police equipment for our police officers that is today a necessity. Earlier this year, the U.S. government under the CARSI program assisted the Belize Police Department with twelve police motorcycles to create a cycle team for Belize City. Today, they are assisting us again with additional equipment such as bulletproof vests, helmets, wireless communications and other essential kits for the motorcycle team to be well kitted whilst in the execution of their duties. It is hope that our department will continue to support and expand the cycle team. Other basic police equipment being received are mostly in the form of uniform kits such as: duty belts, flashlights, holsters, handcuffs and many other equipment that are today essential for policing. They have also assisted with three interview room equipment that will greatly assist or investigations unit in the way we go about interviewing suspects and conducting investigations. These interview equipments will enable the police to record both audio and video of the interviews it conducts which will greatly assist—not only in reducing allegations of abuse, but also in recording of these interviews for future use. Likewise, the Ministry of Police and Public Safety has assisted us with the acquisition of fifty new nine millimeter pistols to be used and deployed in Belize City to our patrol officers. Along with these weapons, the department will also assist in the necessary training to be done so that the police officers who will be handling these weapons be certified in its use and safety.”

Daren Casimiro

The police constables are also content that they are now equipped to patrol dangerous neighborhoods and properly process crime scenes.

P.C. Daren Casimiro, Belize Police Department

“We plan to use the firearm—the firearm is when we go in the areas so that we can always protect ourselves. And with the bulletproof vest, it is the same thing wise. With the motorcycle, we could go through the alley and we could maneuver so we could pass through the alley. You noh have nothing fi escape we could move faster to ketch the person fi detain and so. Weh we could get we suspected candidates and sometihng.”

Jose Sanchez

“Before the department received this equipment what were you doing?”

P.C. Daren Casimiro

“All we mi have dah only the motorcycle weh we mi got. And we mi use the number 1 uniform and we mi got wah bulletproof vest fi protect wiself and wah firearm. But now that we got these more equipment from the U.S. Embassy, we appreciate that and we give them ‘nuff thanks for that.”

Athon Martinez

P.C. Athon Martinez, Belize Police Department

“Since we are well equipped now, we plan to go into the more dangerous area and be more effective, a little more efficient. All the more equipments make us well—uniform—I guess the public will respect us more.”

Jennifer Barr

“Some of the duty belts, field gear, body armor, the motorcycles, helmets and the AC also mention interview rooms as well. One of the rooms will actually be assisting the domestic violence unit which we feel is very important which will go to support women and children. At the embassy we feel that children are absolutely the future here in Belize and the youth is an essential part.”

Asst. Commissioner Elodio Aragon

“There is no question that we are facing challenging times that dictate an environment of constant change and advancement. And if we are to reduce violent crime, we must continue to regain the confidence and support of the communities we serve and improve the condition of service of our police officers. This will no doubt come about with an improved level of professionalism along with innovative crime fighting strategies, implementation of technology and a renewed focus towards community service oriented policing on our part. And most importantly, a supportive and cooperative community that is willing to assist in dealing with crime.”

Reporting for News Five, Jose Sanchez.

Last November, CARSI provided nine hundred and fifty thousand US dollars to community groups.

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16 Responses for “U.S. Embassy gives the cops guns, armor and more”

  1. Vision says:

    Guard yourself Belizeans.
    Until the Police here are trained enough to use this stuff, we’ll be on the alert.
    Look at wat happened at the Menjivar’s home.
    Yes, thanks to the US Embassy with a good heart and good intentions, but i think the money would have been wiser spent to send a group of Police for additional training to fight against crime.
    Equipment is completely useless by someone who doesn’t know the proper way to utilize the stuff.
    Thanks for showing us support, God bless America

  2. Rod says:

    This is a good step from the embassy since it’s because of the us that the drug trade is affecting Belize so much and all these arms all the gang members have come from the us so I blame them for all the crime happening in the jewel plus this ambassador from the us has done nothing for Belize absolutely nothing for this country he and the pm are twins useless.

  3. WHAT! says:

    More free goods for the gangsters of Belize City!

  4. concerned citizen says:

    kudos to our fellow counter parts lets just make sure our cyclists are trained riders and dont damage these bikes. also they are not to be used to be taking wives and others about. lets just still c foot patrols not only in the downtown area and hotspots but everywhere. these guys are getting out of control. from kings park to belama, lets not wait until something occurs. the public also needs to use phones make phone calls and more…

  5. Driver says:

    a few hours later one cyle was already crashed and ruined on the northern highway in front of Courts Belize. of course the police and traffic and transport were all there and took more than 2 hours to move this cylcle from the middle of the road. what unneccessary delay for motorists trying to get home in tne evening rush hour.not one of them directing traffic.
    OH on traffic, have you noticed a traffic officer ever in Zenaidas hut at the foot of swingbridge, never.
    do you see traffic officers on Albert st. when the taxi men park on the right, No. they are all standing in the shade on the regent st side of Belize Bank. has ever any taxi men been given tickets for parking on the roundabout at Assembly of God on Freetown. Traffic is a joke in Belize!!!

  6. Sasha says:

    Thanks to the US, you can complain all you want about drugs because it is the same crackheads that are helping to destroy the jewel, the US had some sense to notice the EFFECT and stepped in. I have never heard the Belize Government going to other countries to SEEK ASSISTANCE for the crimes happening there. All they worried was selling and raising prices on the belizean people.

  7. Disappointed says:

    Sorry to be negative but I am sure by next year this time all the motorcycles will be destroyed and all the guns will be rusted and useless. Belize workers does not know how to take care of anything they are given for free maintenance is non existent in Belize. Thanks for the donation from the USA, glad to see my tax dollars are working to help. Unfortunately it will be wasted and unappreciated.

  8. Earl Grey says:

    THANK YOU TO THE USA for the CRIME FIGHTING RESOURCES……….

    NOW YOU ARE OBLIGED TO FOLLOW-UP WITH…………………………………………. PROPER TRAINING on the use of said resources..

  9. Fed Up says:

    U.S wasting more money… this is not the first set of bikes bought .. Belmopan had a half dozen bought for them some years back and they are all scrap metal now. Yes these will not be on the road in twelve months. I am so tired of hearing drugs is a U.S problem, please every country has their share of crack heads and coke heads. What do you think the gangs are fighting over? not u.s drug trade, Belize City crack consumption.

    Anyway, look at the arrogant cops on these bikes now.. lets see when they run over their first pedestrian and it gets covered up..the cops need to walk and be in the midst of the criminals so they can feel right at home.

  10. Love and Hate says:

    I LOVE the US intervention but i HATE how they intervene. After a inhumane act of NO regards for human life using guns by our police, the US now gives our police more guns to kill us. Our cops needs pshycological training as to NOT to draw guns 1st. Thanks for the bikes, belts and other equipments. US police doesnot act in this manner, i thing Vidal is imitating the movies and cops tv shows. Give us visa so we can get away from this lawless country.

    Have anybody seen the episodes “The UNIT”on ABC? …..GSU operate like that.

  11. Drama says:

    Good looking out U.S even if the motorcycles break down at least our men and women in uniform are somewhat protected of bullets coming their direction if ever they are in the line of fire protecting the citizens of our precious jewel. Now it’s up to the Belizean Gov’t to provide a firearm to each and every single police constable in the country step up barrow mek we see what you are made of….nuff said

  12. Fairman says:

    The USA focuses on fighting the drug trade outside of the USA only. They are always rating other countries in the drug war but they never rate themselves as the main drug market provider. It is like they are telling us “We are providing the lucrative drug market but we will make the transportation route difficult so that only a select few make it to the market.”
    There have to be large organized groups in the USA who are receiving and distributing the drugs there but we don’t hear anything about what the US authorities are doing about that. No one from the media in Belize dare to ask.
    Why can’t the US authorities eliminate those drug groups/market in their own country? Is it because they are not capable of dealing with their own people or they just prefer to see other people in jail or shot dead by police?

  13. BZEAN DREAD says:

    DIS IS GONNA MAKE NO DIFFERENCE ALL THEY GONNA DO IS JOLLY RIDE BOUT THE PLACE … N HARASS THE CITZENS INSTEAD OF HARRASSING THE REAL PPL DATS DOIN THE CRIME …N PLUS THEY AINT GOT NO EXPERIENCE DEALING WITH THE PPL OR THOSE EQUIPMENT SMFH BELIZE NEED A CHANGE

  14. nice says:

    THANK YOU U.S.
    Now please come and train our belizean Police, they need to learn how to respect the public. Police treat us here as guilty till proven innocent, it should be innocent till proven guilty.

  15. Belizean says:

    Mr Vidal, Now youu have a next job, train the belizean police.

  16. The Educated One says:

    If the residents were not lawless, we wouldn’t need the gear and you all wouldn’t be complaining and being negative about the donation. IT STARTS AND END AT HOME. Parents, it is ultimately up to you to bring up your child in the right way. BE INVOLVED in their EDUCATION and HELP them when help is needed.

    Start at home, it trickles to the community. What we have today is a result of past FAILURES of our PARENTS/FAMILIES/FRIENDS. Now, we want the Police and the GOVERNMENT to try and fix the problem that PARENTS created. DISCIPLINING the children and holding them ACCOUNTABLE will make them BETER ADULTS.

    IT STARTS AND ENDS IN THE HOME!!!!!!! All this conversation is useless without getting to the ROOT cause of the situation!

    All I can say right now, is TRUST GOD and IN HIM alone!

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