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Nov 29, 2012

Caribbean Shores Drop in Center for youths

Proper communication with communities has always been essential for cops to maintain peace in neighborhoods. The Zone Beat Liaison Officers are focused on community engagement but Drop-in centers are becoming an additional tool to maintain a relationship with the youths. The police department has drop-in centers in Yarborough, Hattieville and Benque. Today, the Caribbean Shores substation was given tools and manpower to engage the neighborhood youths. News Five spoke to Douglas Hyde, the National Youth Program Coordinator for the Police Department about the new installment.

 

Douglas Hyde, National Youth Program Coord., Belize Police Department

“The research from 2005 from UNICEF and Dr. Gayle and actually the economic development research shows that the drop in centers and spaces are really strong component for young people in terms of recreational and research and stuff like that after hours and during the day where the community can access services. The idea is to create these spaces in the Police Department and specifically the stations across Belize to give young people and the community better access and services to the police officers along with the community accessing services from the officers themselves. So it’s like working together in a closer effort to better services for the community.”

 

Jose Sanchez

“Now, how does it work? The young person lives in the area, what do they do? just walk in? What’s the a approach?”

 

Douglas Hyde

Douglas Hyde

“It’s simple as that, you walk in and basically, just as the Yarborough area, they young person may want to access some type of information; may want to where to get a job, may want to know where to get training, may want to access certain information on the internet and even in terms of where we link with other agencies, maybe that agency for the day would be doing some kind of training or doing some kind of activity and we would refer that young person to that agency. And so it’s that networking and collaborating that we’ve created with these drop in spaces that is very productive and useful for the young persons and the community.”

 

Jose Sanchez

“How many people are assigned to the drop in center and how many youths do you expect to facilitate on a weekly basis?”

 

Douglas Hyde

“Well, we have done, for the past couple of weeks we have been training and sensitizing our police officers so we have done almost forty police officers in the past two weeks in terms of what it means to have youth friendly services and information. We are also training community members so we’ve trained almost twenty persons so far from the community likewise. The idea is to have these persons volunteer their services as peer educators and also as community members who will assist the police officers in their day to day work and the young persons during the working hours that we plan to open from ten in morning and sometimes to seven in the evening, that this young person or the community members can also walk in at any time and access the services that are there at the drop in centers. And this is very important because we realize that during the day time, there are people who are unattached or out of school who just want to be somewhere comfortable and safe and drop in centers play that roll and then we have in the evening time where young people, schools students who would come from school and want to do homework and research. So the space is there for them to access these type of services and the police is there to help guide them and also build that rapport and relationship.”

 

Hyde says Georgeville in the Cayo District will also soon have a drop-in center.

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1 Response for “Caribbean Shores Drop in Center for youths”

  1. Storm says:

    I hope this approach helps. I don’t think it can hurt, anyway. I believe most Belizeans will support and help police if they are treated fairly, and this is a good opportunity to make that happen in some way.

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