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Dec 1, 2016

New Rides for Police Department

The official handing over of a brand new fleet of vehicles for use by the police department took place today. On hand at the ITVET was the U.S. Ambassador Carlos Moreno whose government invested over one point six million Belize dollars to acquire the vehicles under the CARSI initiative. The Isuzu pickup trucks will be deployed throughout the country, but Belize City, which is hard hit by crime, gets the majority. The timely gift surely comes in handy to assist the police to fight crime in the holiday season. News Five’s Isani Cayetano reports.


Isani Cayetano, Reporting

The concerted scream of klaxons from a fleet of twenty-six patrol vehicles certainly caught the attention of passersby in the vicinity.  Bright lights and loud sirens were symbolic of the handing over of the line of pickup trucks to the Belize Police Department.  The donation worth approximately eight hundred and thirty thousand U.S. dollars expands the existing number of vehicular assets within the agency.  The early Christmas gift comes courtesy of the United States Embassy through the Central American Regional Security Initiative, CARSI.


Allen Whylie

Allen Whylie, Commissioner of Police

“Thirteen of those vehicles will be deployed to the Belize City area, seven on south side and six on north side.  Additionally, a vehicle is also being assigned to all the various police formations countrywide and two of those vehicles are also going to the Belmopan Police Formation.”


These late model Isuzu D-Maxes aren’t just fancy rides, each pickup is equipped with a dashboard camera which will be used to capture footage of police interaction with civilians.  The idea is that the department will now be able to collect video information which may be critical in certain cases.  The question is, will the media be privy to dash cam footage, particularly in circumstances involving allegations of police brutality?


Allen Whylie

“Well it’s something that we’d have to look at; I wouldn’t want to say that we’d have an open policy.  I believe each case would have to be reviewed on its own in terms of what would be the benefit of putting it out there.  Is it a matter that perhaps may be before a court of law and may be prejudicial in terms of releasing and so we’d have to look at it, I believe, on a case by case basis.”


What you’re seeing on the ITVET compound today is the fruit of several years of careful planning.  The CARSI program has been instrumental in outfitting local law enforcement with crime fighting resources.


Carlos Moreno

Carlos Moreno, U.S. Ambassador to Belize

“Everything we do in the CARSI program, like this particular project, really is years in planning.  This took about two years and that planning starts with a collaboration between INL at the embassy and the police department.  The police department presents to us a list of priorities for them.  In this particular case, those priorities were determined on a rational, almost scientific basis.  It’s based on areas in Belize that need more attention and more patrols.  We get that data from a program called CompStat that kind of derives what the crime issues are in particular neighborhoods.”


While the US Embassy is tracking crime locally using computer statistics, the police department will keep an eye on the usage of the vehicles and their respective locations using a GPS device.


Allen Whylie

“That would allow us once we assign those vehicles to specific areas, those vehicles can then be monitored to ensure that they remain within their area.  And so, if there are unauthorized runs we’ll be able to monitor that and to correct those issues and also it will allow us in terms of monitoring our fuel consumption because we do know that from time to time vehicles stray for a number of reasons and for personal matters at times.”


It is no secret that patrol cars rack up thousands of miles on the odometer over a short span.  Their assigned drivers aren’t the most sensitive and responsible motorists either.  So how will the wear and tear be handled going forward?


Carlos Moreno

“That remains to be determined.  I know that coverage is provided as part of the grant for the first year, with an option to extend to a second year.  Now it may be that when we cross that bridge they will submit a supplemental proposal for additional maintenance or the police may decide within their own budget constraints that they can for that maintenance contract.  You know most are looking forward to having INL work with a more permanent and sustainable maintenance program that would consist of a police garage.”


Reporting for News Five, I am Isani Cayetano.

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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2 Responses for “New Rides for Police Department”

  1. felipe says:

    I was surprised that Bowen & Bowen did not cry like spoiled brats that the US Embassy did not buy Ford. Right move, we need dependable trucks to protect out citizens of this country.

  2. Mike G. says:

    Once again, thank you Uncle Sam. Just hope that the cops take better care of this fleet. I doubt it though. The dash cams and GPS will be the first to go. Wish I could find something good to say about the police but it just isn’t there.

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