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Mar 20, 2009

Law enforcement officers finish prison handling course

Story PictureToday a group of fourteen law enforcement officers concluded a three-week training in prisoner handling at the B.D.F. headquarters. The course was intended to improve their skills when making arrests to observe the rights of inmates. Representatives from the B.D.F., the Customs and the Police Departments received certificates in Trainers’ Techniques and in the Prisoner Handling Course. News Five was at the ceremony and spoke with Trainer, Steven Ruffle who says the program was a success.

Steven Ruffle, Rep., Nat’l Policing Improvement Agency, U.K.
“They’ve worked extremely hard over the last three weeks as I’ve promised them that they would. There were two areas that which they had to concentrate on. One was the train the trainer techniques, which in some cases has been totally new to them; the way we train in the United Kingdom. It’s totally different; we use different techniques and different ideas so we tried to introduce those to the students. And of course on the other side, we’ve been looking at prisoner handling techniques, which has been a reexamination of the Belize constitution.”

Sgt. Cesar Franco, Representative, Police Department
“The course went very well. It was very, very challenging, yet informative. The training basically including prisoner handling as it relates to proper documentation, our cell blocks. The prison has a very, very outstanding method of dealing with the intake and outtake of prisoners. Majority of it covered human rights.”

Duane Moody
“How is this going to help you with your job?”

Sgt. Cesar Franco
“I hope that upon my return to the training academy, I will be able to impart this knowledge to my trainees, to my recruits for them to, as soon as they leave the training academy, to impart this knowledge to remainder of the force in the department.”

Staff Sgt. Florentino Cal, Representative, B.D.F.
“We learn how to deal with them humanely and how we secure them and also the security of our personnel, the agencies. We also learnt different methods of teaching when we get to the part of train the trainers. We learnt a lot of methods even though we have our own method in the B.D.F. for how we teach people, there are much more things that we learnt that we can incorporate into our training to become more professional and more efficient in our training.”

Duane Moody
“When is it that the use of excessive force is applicable because I know the course was more of a humane approach of handling prisoners. So when is it applicable so to speak?”

Steven Ruffle
“It is appropriate to use force when you’re a police officer and in fact any member of the public if you are under attack. It becomes—it’s defining that fine line between your attacked or when you are being attacked becomes an attack by you. So you can use as much force as is necessary to defend yourself. Sometimes it’s not much the training technique, as it is by setting an example. And certainly we stress the importance of doing the right thing at the right time. So that’s part and parcel of this course.”

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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