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Jan 29, 2014

Police Passing Out Ceremony: A historic number of women join the police force

Today, the top brass and rank and file of the Belize Police Department, along with family, friends and supporters joined to welcome the eighty-ninth recruit squad…the men and women who will now don the uniform to serve and protect in every corner of our nation. The graduation today was the culmination of three months of intensive training, and this squad is one of the largest ever produced. It is always a ceremony filled with pomp, ceremony and pride and today’s event was certainly no exception. Mike Rudon was at the Belmopan Training School this afternoon and has the story.

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Mike Rudon, Reporting

At exactly one-fifty this afternoon, the one hundred and twenty-seven new members of the Belize Police Department marched onto the parade grounds at the Belize Training School. They are eighty men and thirty-seven women strong, in a squad which is the second largest in history.

 

After the traditional inspection, awards and prizes were handed out to eight outstanding graduates. They were outstanding for another reason which was immediately apparent – of the eight, five of them were women. In fact, the recruit which was awarded the highest recognition, the Baton of Honor, is WRPC one six five two Shanique Roca.

 

Shanique Roca

Shanique Roca, WRPC, Baton of Honour Recipient

“Today, we are one hundred and twenty-seven strong brothers and sisters who share a bond built on sweat and tears, shared laughter and joys. There are different reasons why we came here that first day and there are different avenues that we took to get there. But the hows and whys are not as important as the fact that we stand here today being recognized as full-fledged police officers. We have been changed in this journey. There has been a subtle sculpting of every member of this squad—a shaping that has transformed us from civilians to police officers.”

 

And their graduation comes none too soon, as these men and women in uniform will be dispatched countrywide to fill vital gaps in human resources in both urban and rural areas.

 

Allen Whylie

Allen Whylie, Commissioner of Police

“Belize City continues to be our area of focus and so the majority of officers will be posted within the Belize City Eastern Division. I have tried to look at the situation in terms of the needs and try to measure that quite carefully and as a result other officers are also going to be posted in every formation across this country. So every formation will be getting a few officers. I am certain that they will say that they needed more and deserve more, but again there is only so much that we can give. So I’ve tried to assist every formation.”

 

John Saldivar, Minister of National Security

“Sixteen weeks ago, when these young men and women first reported to the training academy, they were all civilians with the exception of a few who were special constables and they all had limited knowledge of law enforcement. The instructors were skilled enough to instill in them that desire to learn through a well-planned and structured syllabus. They imparted knowledge in criminal law, traffic regulations, court procedures, crime information management systems, human rights and other relevant components. It is pleasing to note that the English language, interviewing techniques, statement taking and other service oriented disciplines were taught in this QUADS curriculum. Certainly, these are the types of skills our people are expecting and demanding of our police officers.”

 

John Saldivar

And while the passing out today was reason to celebrate, there is another. There has been a significant decrease in violent crimes, most notably murder.

 

John Saldivar

“Today we can boast that we are the only country in the region that has shown a reduction in its homicide rate for 2013. This singular achievement in one year has removed us from the category of the world’s top ten percent homicide rate. This was made possible in a significant way through the senseless service provided by the men and women of this police department. They deserve our recognition, they deserve our applause.”

 

Allen Whylie

“The curriculum continues to be reviewed. We’ve been having some assistance through the U.S. Embassy, an American consultant who knows about training has been assisting us, reviewing our syllabus. We’ve been putting in a number of procedures that we can improve and these will be reviewed after each training. One of the new features that we will be introducing very shortly to support the new recruits that have passed out is a program for a field training officer. And an officer will be identified given specialized training and that officer will be attached to each formation and he will be responsible to assist the recruits to monitor, to develop training programs based on what he sees and how they are performing.”

 

The department also took time today to remember fallen officers, dead in the line of duty. Mike Rudon for News Five.

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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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6 Responses for “Police Passing Out Ceremony: A historic number of women join the police force”

  1. BelizeanBelizeaninAsia says:

    Let’s go ladies!

  2. sly deceiver says:

    Proud to see you women stepping up to the plate.

  3. Al Rich says:

    Does this training include psychological evaluation? I believe that this is important especially when you hear how police officers abuse their positions.

  4. Lowjack says:

    What?? A lot of them, i hope it will not be a waste,so much police
    and there is places that need policeman and always there is
    a high number of graduates but where they go? What they do?
    They need to organized and see where they need them

  5. Lowjack says:

    They should get a better uniform, for the women,a skirt?
    Imagine if they gone into a situation, that they need to use
    some strength, it will be better a pants than a skirt or for what we need
    a police that don’t do anything because they afraid to show themselves
    in doing their job

  6. LOL says:

    I hope they are more ethical and professional than their male counterparts. I hope they bring true and positive changes in the Police Department. I hope someone replace useless Vidal and his useless wife too. Both of them are DISTASTEFUL.

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