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Dec 24, 2004

Police work long hours over holiday

Story PicturePatrick Jones
?It is important that Belizeans on a whole feel safe this Christmas and be able to celebrate this joyous occasion without having to worry all that much. There are some simple basic things that people can do to stay safe and to talk a little about that, I am joined at this time by Assistant Superintendent, Miguel Guzman, who is going to talk to us a little bit about that.?

?Good evening to you sire, what can the people do to make this Christmas safe while they are celebrating??

A.S.P. Miguel Guzman, Belize Police Department
?Patrick I just want to mention something before I go into that. As you may have notices, we have stepped up on our Police Preventative Patrols mainly around the areas of shopping and the main streets of Belize City. But at the same time, the police can only do so much. So we are asking the public to exercise caution. Be cautious out there. Don?t carry excess baggage that you know you cant handle, take care of you children, make sure you do not leave your bags in vehicles where it is visible from outside. We advise people to be cautious.?

Patrick Jones
?Of course we know that people will be travelling as well. There will be parties all over and of course driving under the influence is always a concern especially on long weekends like this one.?

A.S.P. Miguel Guzman
?Yes, we have also stepped up on our traffic patrols and we are asking drivers if you are driving don?t drink. Let someone else handle the wheel. Remember somebody is waiting for you at home, somebody who loves you and if you love that person, you don?t want to do things to hurt that person. If people get into an accident, it causes a lot of pain and a lot of lost as you have mentioned earlier about the lost of a policeman. It?s a lost to us; it?s a paint that we feel. Our deepest sympathy goes to the family, but the police work goes on.?

Patrick Jones
?The police presence that you are talking about, is that only just for Belize City??

A.S.P. Miguel Guzman
?No, it?s countrywide but I cannot say much about what is happening out district but I know it?s a countrywide campaign that we normally do this time of the year and in Belize City on a whole, we have stepped up with a lot of officers. We are getting support from Belmopan and the trainees who are at the Police Training Academy.?

Patrick Jones
?Is this heavy police presence going to continue after Christmas??

A.S.P. Miguel Guzman
?We intend to take it to early January because you know police work continues and it all depends but the presence of the police will remain on the street maybe not at a heavy percentage of what we are seeing right now??

Patrick Jones
?We know that you guys will have to be working on Christmas Day. How do you handle being out on Christmas Day when the rest of us are home with our families??

A.S.P. Miguel Guzman
?That is the business that we are in. I think the hardest thing to do is to condition your mind that hey we are here to do a service. Once you condition your mind to that, then you do it with pleasure. I have gotten so used to it that it doesn?t bother me and I try to also encourage other junior officers to condition their minds. Because many of times, you think more about your family and you don?t realize that you are in a service. We took oath of office; nobody forced us to take this type of job and it is there so we have to provide it. So basically that is it.?

Patrick Jones
?If over this holiday something should happen our we see crime happening, what are those numbers that people can call to reach you people??

A.S.P. Miguel Guzman
?Well we have the 911 Emergency line and that is for crime in progress. We have the 922 Hotline, that is to report a crime that has been committed where people can call and they will certainly get attention.?

Patrick Jones
?And now I give you an opportunity to give Christmas greetings to whoever.?

A.S.P. Miguel Guzman
?I just want to say a Merry Christmas to Belizean people. Be safe out there, we expect that they have a joyous and a blessed Christmas.?

Patrick Jones
?As the police continue to maintain a visible presence on the streets, not only in Belize City, but around the nation we want to encourage Belizeans to celebrate responsibly and we know that many people have travelled from afar. We want everybody to celebrate and have a joyous Christmas.?


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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