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Jan 22, 2002

Police seek better community relations

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Allegations of police brutality and corruption are about as common as potholes on Belize City streets, and are just a few reasons why relations between the public and the law are a little off. Realizing that perception strongly influences reality, the department is trying to patch things up and has formed a committee to address the problem. This afternoon Police Public Relations Officer G. Michael Reid told News 5 that crime cannot be controlled without the help of the community and the media.

G. Michael Reid, Police Press Officer

“This much-talked-about gap between the community and the police does not necessarily exist between the police and the entire community, but certainly between the police and those who are more inclined to the criminal side. We believe that the law-abiding citizens understand the importance of the police being there and being vigilant in the fight against crime, and are now, we believe, more cooperative with the police in that effort.”

Janelle Chanona

“Tell me about getting the media involved in this effort to improve those relations.”

G. Michael Reid

“We understand that the media is very, very important in all of this and plays a key role. We believe it has to be a three-prong approach if we are to win this fight against crime: the police, the community and the media. The Commissioner of Police recognizes this and one of the area that he’s stressed upon, in forming this committee, is that we must include the media. Hence tonight we are holding a meeting with the media at 7:30 at the Raccoon Street conference room and we’re hoping to get some input from members of the media like yourself and other members of other sectors of the media, to come forward with ideas and to suggest ways in which the police can more efficiently serve the community.”

According to Reid, the committee will be holding similar meetings with other interest groups and advises any member of the public with suggestions to contact him at the Raccoon Street police station.

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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