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May 20, 2015

BPD Implements New Program to Fight Crime

The police department is embarking on a new program that will see senior officers guide young recruits to improve their policing skills. This is all part of a strategy to fight crime on the streets. Facilitators from the U.S were involved in the initiative which concluded on Tuesday with a graduation. News Five’s Isani Cayetano reports. 


Isani Cayetano, Reporting

Twenty-seven seasoned officers of the Belize Police Department have completed a weeklong course during which they were taught how to mentor young recruits.  The purpose of the Field Training and Evaluation Program is to train new officers so that each is prepared to function individually at the conclusion of their training cycle.


Allen Whylie, Commissioner of Police

Allen Whylie

“The Field Officer Training Program is a new program within the Belize Police Department where we identify the number of officers that we believe have the kind of potential and the capacity to be able to impart knowledge to the younger officers.  And so this training aims at twofold, it aims at capturing recent recruits who passed out where they will be provided with a field training officer, a number of them will be assigned to that officer who will be responsible for day-to-day mentorship of them, evaluating the work that they do and provide advice guidance and also provide weekly appraisals to the commandant for the review.”


Field training officers have the dual responsibility of providing police service in their assigned beats, as well as conducting training and evaluations for new officers.  Field training sergeants are in charge of supervising personnel assigned to their teams and for coordinating and supervising the on-the-job training of rookie officers.


Sergeant Samuel Gladden, Field Training Officer

Sgt. Samuel Gladden

“To me it’s a win-win-win situation because you have, you’ll be training trainees.  They get basic training at the academy and they’ll be doing on-the-job training with the FTOs.  The FTOs will be training them so they themselves will be keeping themselves up to par with laws and stuff and it will improve the department itself.”


Isani Cayetano

“In terms of the overall takeaway and how this stands to benefit the Belizean public, what are we looking at?”


Sgt. Samuel Gladden

“Well, definitely we’re looking at better service for the public who we serve, who are our customers and it will benefit them.  They will see better service and better police officers.  Some people might say well it’s a lot of work but don’t take it as a lot of work, take it as a challenge.  It’s a challenge for you to be an FTO.”


The training was facilitated by the United States government.  Lieutenant Kevin O’Brien of the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Department in West Palm Beach, Florida is among the instructors.


Lt. Kevin O’Brien, FTO Instructor

Lt. Kevin O'Brien

“What they will do is they’re going to take basic recruit training at the academy that they received over the last four months and now they’re going transfer that into the real world policing out on the streets with Belize City being the actual kickoff point and the area that it’s going to be tested in hopefully to be able to turning out to all of the country of Belize soon.”


Isani Cayetano

“How important and impact is an initiative such as this for a growing police department such as ours?”


Lt. Kevin O’Brien

“I think it’s really important.  Back home field training has been around since the1970s, in the United States.  Now bringing it down here is really important because the Belize Police Department wants to grow and they want to make it more standardized and more professional, this is the best step to do because not only are you training them better in the academy but you’re also training them when they get into the field and that is critically important to making better relationships with the public because in reality we’re doing this for the public.”

Isani Cayetano reporting for News Five.

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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1 Response for “BPD Implements New Program to Fight Crime”

  1. belizean a heart says:

    waste of time and money and training,once we continue to have corrupted police/ corrupted minister of police dept/GOB – inside the dept…”rotten potato will rotten all” saying goes for them too. Nothing will change the police dept is the biggest gang/ corrupt dept their is.

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