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Jun 26, 2012

K-9 Dogs, police and customs department to sniff out ammunition and drugs

The police department has taken a battering from the public not only to arrest, charge and convict, but also to prevent crime. Belize City has also taken an international hit as a destination to stay away from. But despite all the bad press and morning show criticisms, the men and women who wear the badge with honor are stepping forward to participate in Police Week 2012 activities. Clean up campaigns, educational fairs, and award ceremonies, are all ways to beef up support for the officers. But all those services were eclipsed today by a graduation ceremony that had the participation of the C.E.O. of the Ministry of National Security, the Acting Commissioner of Police and representatives of the U.S. State Department. It was a graduation ceremony for the dogs and trainers of the K-9 unit. The level of training that the teams share is intended not only to sniff out drugs but the powder from ammunition used in crimes. News Five’s Jose Sanchez reports from the Police Training Academy in Belmopan.

 

George Lovell

Lt. Col-Ret. George Lovell, C.E.O., Ministry of National Security

“Majority of the homicides that occurs occurs with the use of firearms. Firearm is quite often very difficult for the naked eyes to find and for security forces to recover. Also we note that a number of causes of these incidents are as a result of the illegal drug trade. Belize is known to be a transshipment point for cocaine and other narcotics coming from countries of origin and headed to the country of the United States and Europe.”

 

No longer bordered by only Central American countries but also by Central American gangs, Belize has become part of the international highway for drugs and ammunition headed North. To combat narco-trafficking and the collateral damage left in its wake, the US State Department and the Ministry of National Security believe the K-9 Unit can sniff and bite a chunk out of the illicit and illegal activities.

 

Charge D’ Affairs Nina Hawthorne, US Embassy

Nina Hawthorne

“They represent not just beauty and grace and ability, but they also represent the great partnership that the United States and Belize has—that we have seen over the past years and over the past months and the past weeks. We are really, really honored to be a part of this program because I think this is one of those programs where we really are going to get banged for the bark. These dogs have already had terrific success and we know that they are going to have many, many more and will add a huge component to the abilities of the police department, the customs department to fight crime, to interdict drugs, to stop people from bringing in contraband, illegal firearms, explosives and currencies and list really goes on and on.”

 

So these dogs and their trainers have been partnered into a relationship that will see them removing drugs as well as the weapons hidden in bushes and vacant lots of crime infested areas of the country.

 

David Henderson

David Henderson, Acting Commissioner of Police

“This vigorous training of which we have successfully undertaken, will in no doubt improve the interdiction rate in the area of drug trafficking, firearm with cooperative efforts with other enforcement agencies and units. As the Commissioner of Police, I would like to take this opportunity to thank the facilitators from the EODT, Explosive Ordinance Disposal Technology in cooperation for imparting their technical experience in respect to the participants.”

 

Participation comes from various units including the Customs Department and Coast Guard. They all received their graduation certificates from the EODT Technology team this morning. One pair stood out because they found a drug dealer’s stash hidden in the Lord Ridge Cemetery during a training session.

 

Edward Abel

Edward Abel, EVDT Corporate K-9 Program Manager

“I looked over and we had a young officer and his dog was sitting there—sitting is the alert for when a dog has a positive find. He’s getting ready to reward his dog and I’m yelling at him; what are you doing? And he looked at me with a smile saying the dog found. And looked over and there was a bag of marijuana buried in the ground in a green bag; we would not have seen it; everybody walked over it, including myself.  The top dog award for consistently performing above standards and exemplifying duty and dedication to service [is] Oswin Dean Gabourel and his dog, Touche.”

 

 

Oswin Gabourel

Oswin Gabourel, Police Constable

“Well it’s hard work and dedication and from the start the trainer had always said you got to socialize with your dog. Effort, effort, effort; it is not rocket-science. And at the end of the day, this is the result of it. During the training, I was even contemplating about leaving. It was really rugged and like I said, I was contemplating about leaving. Looking back at it, a winning never quit and a quitter never win and this is the result of it here—top dog!”

 

The real test for the K-9 Unit will be on the streets of Belize City. In addition to a powerful bite, it’s the nose on these dogs that may curb crime. Reporting for News Five, Jose Sanchez.

 

Police week continues in the Capital with a medal ceremony on Wednesday and culminates with a parade through the streets of Belize City on Saturday.

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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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7 Responses for “K-9 Dogs, police and customs department to sniff out ammunition and drugs”

  1. Earl Grey says:

    Fancy POT LICKERS???

  2. Rod says:

    This will do no good when the people at the top are corrupt you can have 600 dogs and it will make no difference when the corruption is at the top make the dogs sniff them out all the corruption in this gov. How little does it take to make belizeans feel good this us ambassador has done nothing for Belize nothing except passing out a few crumbs with ballons tied to them .

  3. Storm says:

    I’m very happy to see this improvement to the capacity of our police. Well-trained dogs with well-trained handlers can do things that no human officer can do, and working together, they have the potential to “take a bite out of crime.”

    Let’s see more of improvements like this!

  4. now i see says:

    All you have to do is teach them police how to treat a dog. That dog is your partner. Dont give him fried chicken when you go see chinee. Dont let you gial pet it. In reward you will get a very loyal friend that will always wach yo back and will never never sleep with yo gial.

  5. EJ Abel says:

    The people of Belize should be proud of the officers who have stepped up and underwent extremely rigorous training and are now willing to put their lives on the line. Instead of bashing those who feel Belize is a good country and want to help make it a safer place why don’t they join the police department as a volunteers. These men and their K-9′s are not corrupt and have selected to do their part in fighting crime.
    Stop complaining, get the corrupt people out and support those who want to make a difference. By the way the dogs don’t care who is corrupt and who aren’t, they don’t show prejudice, they find drugs and criminals when asked to. My observations as an outsider are that the majority of police officers are good people as are the majority of Belizeans. The reason there is corruption is due to people being willing to accept it.
    The people of Cayo showed what can be accomplished when communities stand together and support one another. As far as the Police Department goes support them and help them. Stand up against corruption and drugs, you can’t turn your head on drugs and crime and expect it to get better. There are a lot of dedicated, honest men and women in the police and customs service, it’s the citizens of Belize responsibility not to allow corruption to destroy this beautiful country.

  6. EJ says:

    To the person who wrote “fancy Potlickers”, are you aware of the hours of training that both the handlers and dogs have gone through. No you’re not! Ignorant comments like this serve to do nothing but undermine the dedication and hard work these men and their dogs have gone through. Just so you are aware the dogs received several months of preparation and then teamed with selected handlers went through 4 months of training. While you are sleeping and safe at home these teams will be out protecting you. You owe these teams an apology!

  7. BMNJ says:

    Now we need a well trained forensic team and a well trained persecuting team to complete the package.

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