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Feb 27, 2013

Community groups get equipment for safe neighborhoods

The Central American Regional Security Initiative (CARSI) has donated equipment to the Police Department, the Coastguard and the Belize Defense Force. Smaller groups are also receiving donations to help protect communities. Community watch groups and other similar organizations have received over two hundred thousand dollars worth of equipment to help them keep their neighborhoods safe. Today, while in Belize City the U.S. Ambassador Vinai Thumalapally made another appearance on behalf of CARSI, this time at the Policing Community Unit in Yabra.

 

Vinai Thummalapally, U.S. Ambassador to Belize

Vinai Thummalapally

“This project seeks to engage youth and empower communities by reducing crime in Belize through community participation and service from dedicated exemplary Belizeans like all of you. So we applaud you for taking a step forward in a meaningful way with the collaboration and all the community efforts that you are involved in. The United States Embassy stands with you in this effort to strengthen the security and safety of the people of Belize. I am proud to say that our two countries are indeed partners in the fight against crime in Belize. In fact, the United States government has worked in partnership the Belize for many years to advance our mutual goals of addressing transnational crime and improving the national security of Belize. CARSI’s community policing initiatives focus on joint activities for community organizations and the Police Department to improve communication and facilitate participation in crime protection, detection and most importantly reaching our vulnerable youth. Since its inception, CARSI—back in 2009 was the first year we were involved in Belize—the United States Embassy has helped to train a total of three hundred and thirty police officers specifically in community policing instructions. These courses give police officers strategies to connect with local communities and foster open communication between officers and citizens. We’ve also provided more than two hundred thousand dollars to fund equipment that advances the initiative of community policing units such as the Yarborough Community Policing Center right here and other community units throughout the country.”

 

Gilbert Pitts, Coordinator, National Neighborhood Watch

Gilbert Pitts

“We have applied for a CARSI grant and we have received over two hundred thousand U.S. dollars. It will be coming in three phases; this is the first phases. Right now we have selected twenty neighborhood watch groups from around the country and we are issuing out today lights, whistles, two way radios and handcuffs. These are the items that will be issued to different groups today. And in the second phases, we will be issuing signs, more handcuffs, more radios and other things and this is countrywide. This is from Punta Gorda to Corozal to San Pedro, all across the country, we have selected twenty groups. We have selected the more active groups right now. With this the other groups might see this and become a little more active and in the next election may be a part of the donation also.”

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2 Responses for “Community groups get equipment for safe neighborhoods”

  1. Louisville,Ky says:

    Thanks for the token contribution Mr Ambassador but the ghetto communities would have been much better served if the money spent on those accessories were invested in job creation.
    What ghetto youth need, is JOBS. So that, no amount of whistle and hand-cuff and flash light will be able to stem the tide of crime and violence that has swamped the Jewel, yer?
    Use your influence to assist in putting in place the necessary infastructure in order that those marginalised may be gainfully employed, and see if that won’t turn this state of hopelessness completely around.
    No di give me no hand-cuff so that we could shackle one another; give us jobs so that we could free ourselves and each other. Straight up!

  2. Storm says:

    I’d like to see community patrols carry digital cameras and video cameras, so get irrefutable evidence of any crime they witness. Police should have them, too, and then maybe the 3% conviction rate could be turned around.

    I wholeheartedly agree with the principle that the best way to help anyone is to give him an honest job at a fair wage. But I don’t believe government spending creates real jobs. Private enterprise and capitalism are the best ways to do that — they know what is in demand, and the profit motive ensures that the jobs will last as long as the workers are productive. Sadly, Belize is a terrible investment climate — corruption throughout the government and courts according to international reports, high taxes, and investor-hostile laws. No wonder our Caricom neighbors are getting billions in foreign investment, and we are stagnant.

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