San Ignacio Police gets upgrades to fight increasing crime
Through the U.S. Embassy, the San Ignacio Police Department has received an automated fingerprint identification system. The Aphis system will be linked to Belize City and Belmopan data bases. The department is also supplementing technology with human resources. And as part of a Special Constable Programme, on Wednesday forty-one special constables completed training. Some will be deployed to the streets to conduct patrols and the others will be stationed in-house. Officer Commanding the San Ignacio Formation, Senior Superintendent Chester Williams, told News Five about the much needed upgrades the department has received to combat crime.
Sr. Supt. Chester Williams, O.C., San Ignacio Formation
“It will be used to identify finger prints that we lift form crime scenes. What we will do when the system is set up, we will begin to populate the system, but I can also say that if a person commits a crime in San Ignacio and we lift the finger print from that person in a crime scene. And if that person fingerprint was already in the system from either Belize City or Belmopan, when we scan it through our system in San Ignacio, it will make a match and it will tell us exactly who that person is: identity, photograph, everything pertaining to that person. So it will help us to identify suspects in investigations within the San Ignacio, Santa Elena or I must say for the entire Cayo District. We have graduated forty-one special constables who will now be assisting the police in conducting patrols and answering the telephones and it is done with a view to maximize our human resources. What we can do now is that instead of having two police officers patrolling a particular area, we can have one police and one special constable in that area and put another police and another special constable in another area. So instead of having one patrol, we can now have two. So we are maximizing our human resources to be able to be more effective in our patrolling of the Twin Towns of San Ignacio and Santa Elena. We now have people in the different areas of San Ignacio and Santa Elena looking out for their neighbors. They are assisting the police in effectively policing the areas. What we have been doing since last week; myself my deputies, we go in the respect neighborhood watch group area and we hold town meetings with them. In the meetings we give them tips as to why and how we report a crime; how to keep their homes safe; how to identify suspects and vehicles. This is all with a view to give them tips as to how to make their neighborhood safer.”
Williams says that there are a total of twelve neighborhood watch committees in Santa Elena and San Ignacio to stem the wave of criminal activity.