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Dec 20, 2019

8 Officers are Recognized for their Exemplary Work

A group of officers was invited to the Police Training Academy in Belmopan today. But it was not to develop their policing skills; in fact, they were being awarded for a job well done in executing their duties. It was a proud moment for the Police Department because the eight officers ensured that even in the face of adversity, the perpetrators were caught. News Five’s Duane Moody reports.


Duane Moody, Reporting

Eight police officers were awarded today for going beyond the call of their respective duties to crack four cases in Orange Walk, Belize City, Belmopan and the Placencia jurisdictions. The incidents range from gun violence, to armed robberies and even murder. Commissioner of Police Chester Williams says that in executing their duties, these officers put their lives at risk because in all instances gun were trained at them.


Chester Williams

Chester Williams, Commissioner of Police

“We have two officers from Placencia, four from Orange Walk, one from Belize City and one from Belmopan who were honoured today for having gone above and beyond the call of duty. And I have always said that we must ensure that we recognise good work. The same way we do when our officers do bad in terms of ensuring that they are dealt with, equally, we must also be swift to recognise those who perform exceptionally well. In every situation today, the officers put their lives on the line. In Placencia, the culprits that the officers caught pointed a gun at them; they were quick to draw and protect themselves. In Belize City, one constable, Mister Young. He again was fired upon by the fleeing suspect. Thankfully, he was not caught; he was able to continue pursuing the suspect and the suspect was eventually caught and the firearm recovered.”


Those officers are: P.C. Rafael Caliz and S.P. Sheldon Arzu attached to the Placencia Police Substation and P.C. Matthew Young from Belize City.

Four officers from the Orange Walk Police Formation, including its commander, Superintendent Juanito Cocom received certificates. Cocom along with Sergeant Freddy Heredia and Police Constables Amir Moh and Gaspar Camara had intercepted an aggravated incident in Guinea Grass Village; it led to the subsequent arraignment of the culprits. Superintendent Cocom says that the success so far had a lot to do with the community.


Juanito Cocom

Supt. Juanito Cocom, Awardee

“I cannot mention much because it is still before the court, but we were returning from a mission and at the same time, I was alerted of what had happened and I just sprung into action along with the persons who were along with me. We speak a lot with my people and they are along with me and they have that confidence with me. And the community, the community plays a big role in what we are doing. We embrace the community and along with them we get all kinda information and that is what keeps us going; the community.”


Llewellyn Lucas

In early December, William “Danny” Mason and four co-accused men were found guilty of the murder of Pastor Llewellyn Lucas, whose severed head was discovered in Mason’s pickup. It all happened back in 2016 and a guilty ruling was handed down by Justice Antoinette Moore. The lead investigator in the case, now Sergeant Holly Vasquez, was honoured for his impeccable work on the investigating file.


Holly Vasquez

Sgt. Holly Vasquez, Awardee

“I’d like to thank the Commissioner of Police who at the incept of the case, at the primary stage of investigating the matter, he had supported me overwhelmingly and I must give him kudos to leave me on the case to investigate the matter. I would also like to thank the D.P.P. for also assisting me in the investigation and prosecuting the matter to get a successful conviction on this matter.”


Chester Williams

“He was the lead investigator in that matter and we believe that he did exceptionally well in putting together the investigative file and that subsequently led to the conviction of Mister Mason so it is only fitting that we recognise the sergeant for the good work that he did during the course of that investigation.”


Duane Moody

“Is there a promotion in line for this….”


Chester Williams

“Well you would know that when the matter started, Mister Vasquez was a corporal and he is a sergeant now so Mister Vasquez recently got promotion late last year to the rank of sergeant so he has gotten that promotion. He is a very exceptional officer. He is very committed, very dedicated and if he continues to perform his duties with that degree of zeal and courage, he will go a long way in the department. I can see that.”


Duane Moody 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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