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Mar 11, 2020

207 New Cops!

A ceremony was held over the weekend at the National Police Training Academy during which more than two hundred recruits joined the ranks of the Police Department. The officers are now charged with upholding law and order, performing their duties with honesty and integrity.  Here is News Five’s Andrea Polanco with a report.


Andrea Polanco, Reporting

The Belize Police Department has two hundred and seven more officers. On Saturday, family and friends gathered at the National Police Training Academy in Belmopan to watch the new police officers, of intake ninety-four, marched onto the parade square of the academy where they were officially welcomed into the Belize Police Department. At passing out ceremony, the new Minister of National Security inspected the new recruits. Ten of the new cops were recognized with individual awards for outstanding performance during their training. The new Minister of National Security Michael Peyrefitte addressed the new police officers:


Michael Peyrefitte

Michael Peyrefitte, Minister of National Security

“In your duties you serve you must discharge your duties with fairness, integrity, diligence and impartiality. While you must be resolute and relentless in dealing with those who break the law, I expect you to treat all persons with courtesy, respect and dignity.  Public respect for the police depends on many factors. And to a large extent depends on you as police officers to exhibit the tenets of an exemplary police officer.”


…and to help guide these news officers, Minister Peyrefitte says that they now have a manual to refer to so that they can carry out their jobs properly.


Michael Peyrefitte

“For the first time the police department has put together a manual of policies and procedures. A manual that serves as guidance for you as police officers and to hold your commanders and supervisors accountable for the decisions they make. The main goal of the manual is to improve the professional outlook of the Belize Police Department; to improve the organization’s efficiency and effectiveness and to reduce the bureaucracy in the services of the Belize Police Department and its offices.”


But that manual should only serves to reinforce the trainings and lessons. To join the Belize Police Department, the recruits did six months of physical and academic preparation. Recruit John Gamboa was named the overall achiever and received the baton of honor for his performance during the training.


John Gamboa

John Gamboa, Baton of Honor Recipient

“The competition was tight; better yet, the competition was fierce. For me to have had an edge over the other two hundred and six recruits was not easy. A typical day at the NPTA was filled with activities that ranged from fatigue to physical training to classes, presentation by guest speakers, foot drills, self defense techniques, and the usage of firearms and safety. Some days were long and other days were frustrating but my most favorite days were the ones that were productive and where we worked together in unity as one body. The NPTA has taught us many things of great value, such as punctuality, discipline, accountability and most importantly that we be ambassadors of the academy and the department, wherever it is that we may go.”


This intake is the largest squad recruited for the Belize Police Department. It’s also the first squad to have received a three month field officer training programme, which gave the recruits a firsthand experience of what it is like to be a cop.


John Gamboa

“A programme that is broken down into four phases; patrol, traffic, investigation and prosecution phases. We were all divided up and sent to our respective districts where we were paired up with a trained officer who supervised, assisted and graded us throughout the program. Moreover, this program is very beneficial and proved to be very effective as it provided us with on the job training which furthered our knowledge and placed us at an advantage so that when we walk off this parade square we will be prepared to carry out the duties of a police officer.”


And to empower even more police officers, the Minister of National Security says that the Police Department will be using more technology to gather intelligence to help reduce crime.


Michael Peyrefitte

“In our effort to reduce crime, while we intend to improve the system of collaboration with all stakeholders, the department’s strategies must focus on embracing technology and on making every police officer a community oriented officer and an intelligence driven police officer. As such, the department shall develop the capacities of all front-line officers and supervisors to be intelligence gathering officers and at the same time a community oriented police officer.”


Reporting for News Five, I’m Andrea Polanco.

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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