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Jun 27, 2012

Police honor the best in the ranks

An increasing number of law enforcement officers found on the wrong side of the law have caused the Police Department to come under fire from the public. But there are officers who have gone over and beyond the call of duty. Since 2008, the last set of officers were awarded, but this year as a part of the Police Week activities, over a hundred officers along with several citizens were recognized. Officers were given certificates, medals and awards for good behavior and long service to the force; while citizens were acknowledged for their work with the police. News Five’s Andrea Polanco was in Belmopan for the ceremony.

 

Andrea Polanco, Reporting

It was full pump and circumstance at the National Police Training Academy where police officers, civilian staff and citizens were honored at the Belize Police Department’s medal and awards ceremony. The mix of law enforcement officers and civilians is pivotal to the department’s fight against crime.

 

Miguel Segura

A.C.P. Miguel Segura

“We know that the crime wave we are experiencing today needs a collective response by all as a society. And today’s event is clearly not only an event to recognize all those who are contributing to make a difference in our communities especially the outstanding citizens, but to challenge others within our community to join in the cause and to step up to the plate. In the Belize Police Department, let me assure you that the officers will be relentless in performing their duties and spare no efforts in interdicting and arresting criminals in Belize who seek to destroy our peaceful way of life and tarnish the good reputation of our country. However, more can be done through community participation or by engagement with your local police. The Belize Police Department is moving to police along with the community and not to police the community. The Commissioner, along with its executive management team and members of the department are confident that with its full support and involvement of all citizens and residents, we can effectively stem a tide of adverse behavior and criminality which continues to afflict Belize and which has cast a dark shadow its national landscape.”

 

Beaming with pride of their recognitions, the honorees say that love for service to their country has helped them to remain steadfast in their pursuit for a safer Belize.

 

Asst. Supt. Corine Jacobs, Second Clasp Medal

“Well it means a lot for me because I love my job. And I think when you are a winning and decent, honest, sincere, dedicated and devoted officer, you feel so honored to receive an award like this. I have thirty-one years [and] six months.”

 

Andrea Polanco

Corine Jacobs

“What keeps you motivated to be in a job for so long? A job where a lot of people say at times it may be hard to do the right thing?”

 

Asst. Supt. Corine Jacobs

“Andrea, what keeps me motivated to go these long years is because I love my job and I take it very seriously. At this present moment, I am Commander Welfare and my duty is to care for all officers across this country.”

 

Martha Lopez, Citizen of the Year, Orange Walk

“First of all, I feel honored to have this distinguished name, Citizen of the Year. From way back I have served my community as chairpersons in different boards, as J.P., as Commissioner of the Supreme Court and I do it willingly and at all times, I am there to serve my community and the country.”

 

Martha Lopez

Andrea Polanco

“With all the crime and violence taking place, how hard has it been for you to continue doing the right thing and continue to steer your community in the right way?”

 

Martha Lopez

“Well at the moment, I am also a member of the People’s Coalition Committee for Orange Walk and we meet very often to see how we can address the problems that our country is facing and our district. We try to consult with the police, we work along with them and see how we can assist them. we know that it is difficult at time because it’s just a few of us that take that leadership and that responsibility. We need more people involved in these things because it is not easy to go out there and try assist, but I personally do it willing and it’s been a good while I am here serving my country and the district where I live, Orange Walk.”

 

Sr. Supt. Chester Williams, Recipient, Long Service Medal

“I must say that I am grateful for the award of long service medal—it is for long service and good conduct. It means a lot as a police officer to after so much years of serving the department you are recognized; your good service is recognized by the department. So it means a lot to me.”

 

Andrea Polanco

“Now, what is it that you would say motivates you or encourages you from day to day to remain in the police department?”

 

Chester Williams

Sr. Supt. Chester Williams

“I think my biggest motivation is my years. Those persons who may want to look at me and underestimate me and criticize me, I take every criticism in a positive way regardless of how it may seem. I believe that behind every dark cloud, there is a silver lining. And I always try look for the silver lining to push me forward. Every day I give back service to the community; it is something I enjoy doing. That is the reason why I joined the Belize Police Department and after twenty years, I am still a member. I get grate gratification by being out there serving my people in whatever way I possibly can in order to bring that semblance of security to them on a daily basis.”

 

Erna Jones, Citizen of the Year, Eastern Division, Belize City

“It is not a hard thing to do. I make a friendly relations—it’s like a mother and son and daughter relationship—with the community; especially the young guys and I gain respect from them. It is not hard for me; just my approach makes a difference.”

 

Andrea Polanco

Erna Jones

“Has your community been receptive to you working with them?”

 

Erna Jones

“Yes I get hundred percent support from them.”

 

Andrea Polanco

“So how does it feel to be honored today for the work that you have been doing?”

 

Erna Jones

“I can’t tell you how good I feel about it. I feel so blessed. I am blessed. I really feel happy about it; I am so excited. And I pray that other mothers and grandmothers and ladies out there would become that; form such a relationship so that we can get better out of our youths.”

 

Andrea Polanco

“And you will continue giving service to your community?”

 

Erna Jones

“I will continue to give service to my community because my community is my life.”

 

But the need to increase the ongoing partnerships remains high; to which the police offers its full commitment.

 

A.C.P. Miguel Segura

“To all the community leaders, this is the opportunity to make that difference. The timing is now. You have god-given abilities to do something about the present needs and the desire to step out and address the need. The hunger that pushes you—all of this has to do with our passion. To the police cadets, you are on the right part and continue to be that role model for others to follow. You are the future of Belize and influence those around you to follow your steps and to do the right thing. Use those leadership skills to influence others. To my fellow police officers, the demand society makes of officers requires men and women of the highest caliber—integrity, commitment and judgment. You must have that passion that this novel profession calls for and congratulations to you all for being recognized today.”

 

Reporting for News Five, I’m Andrea Polanco.

 

The Police Week activities continue on Thursday with meet and greet sessions in different hot spots. 

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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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8 Responses for “Police honor the best in the ranks”

  1. Storm says:

    Congratulations to all of these great Belizeans, officers and civilians alike. These are the type of people who should be role models for us all, and the government should do more than honour them — it should also build on them to improve the overall quality of the police nationwide.

  2. Rod says:

    Imagine the police get medals for good behavior while gang members get 500.00 dollars a week for being good boys does this make any sense at all tells you what kind of leader we have.

  3. CEO says:

    Promote from the best also not from political affiliation. After they pass the exam promote from the top.

  4. grace says:

    ms jacobs says this”Well it means a lot for me because I love my job. And I think when you are a winning and decent, honest, sincere, dedicated and devoted officer, you feel so honored to receive an award like this. I have thirty-one years [and] six months.”…….well
    those are just beautiful words but they don’t mean anything until put into action, i re-call trying to make a report in Belmopan station and she wouldn’t attend to me, waited long hours there, jus to know later that she had already being inform about the situation but she refuse to listen to my part because it was her family involved and she well knew he was guilty and when i finally spoke to her…she try to convince me to drap d case….she is frame and basis…dont deserve that medal….none at all….love the money not d job!!!!

  5. Storm says:

    Great point, Rod.

    PM Barrow should reverse his policies — give more money bonuses to the best police, and give the gangsters ribbons and medals if they behave.

    Actually, maybe we should reward police if they confiscate property owned by drug dealers and other criminals, then sell the property, and let the police keep some of the proceeds of the sale. I know that is done in other countries, and some police departments are motivated to go hard after the criminals to reap the financial rewards. Make it so crime does NOT pay in the Jewel!

  6. lenny says:

    ms jacobs says this”Well it means a lot for me because I love my job. And I think when you are a winning and decent, honest, sincere, dedicated and devoted officer, you feel so honored to receive an award like this. I have thirty-one years [and] six months.”…….well
    those are just beautiful words but they don’t mean anything until put into action, i re-call trying to make a report in Belmopan station and she wouldn’t attend to me, waited long hours there, jus to know later that she had already being inform about the situation but she refuse to listen to my part because it was her family involved and she well knew he was guilty and when i finally spoke to her…she try to convince me to drap d case….she is frame and basis…

  7. now i see says:

    They need to do some exercise all of them have a belly. Congrats to all and all the rest that didnt get a medal.

  8. Eye in the Sky says:

    MEDALS ????? Give them a raise of pay so they do not need to take any more bribes.

    Money talks and B$ walks.

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