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Feb 15, 2021

“Fit 4 Duty” – A Gym is Inaugurated at the Queen Street Police Station

The Lord Ashcroft COVID-19 Relief Fund has once again come through for the Belize Police Department. This time, the Fund provided the funds to transform an existing space at the Queen Street Police Station into a gym. It is a facility that the department had been clamoring for in the city, which they say will help keep officers in top shape to carry out their duties. News Five’s Duane Moody was on hand for the inauguration of the “Fit for Duty” Gym.


Duane Moody, Reporting

With a price tag of one hundred and thirty-two thousand dollars, a gym was officially inaugurated at the Queen Street Police Station in Belize City. For a monthly fee of twenty dollars, officers will have access to the gym to stay healthy and fit to carry out their duties. 


Chester Williams

Chester Williams, Commissioner of Police

“While yes it is a gym for police officers, the gym does require maintenance. And so while police officers are going to utilize the gym, it will come at a very small cost. The cost is not to make a profit, but to ensure that the equipment are maintained on a daily basis because if we don’t maintain it, then it is not going to last.”


What was once the cafeteria on the second floor of the building has been transformed into a gym thanks to the support of the Lord Ashcroft COVID-19 Relief Fund. Fully stacked with equipment for weight-lifting and cardio, the Fit for Duty Gym was officially inaugurated. On hand were Chairman of the Fund, Lyndon Guiseppi and Lord Michael Ashcroft himself. 


Michael Ashcroft

Lord Michael Ashcroft, Donor

“My interest in law and order goes back to 1988 where in the United Kingdom, I formed and became chairman of the United Kingdom Crime Stoppers organization. When ComPol first approached me to be able to help—the first one was on masks and P.P.E.s and gloves for the police force, I was absolutely delighted to be able to do it. With the gym, to keep one or two of you a little fit as I look around, I am absolutely pleased. So it’s my pleasure to be able to do this.”


Kareem Musa

Kareem Musa, Minister of Home Affairs

“I think that what we have here today is a very timely donation from the Lord Ashcroft COVID-19 Relief Fund. As you know the Fund had given to food grocery packages and that sort of thing, but to have it contributed towards the gym for the police department, we are extremely grateful for the contribution. Like you rightly pointing out, this is a time for us to be very health conscious and aware of our health status and so it is very important that we keep in shape, especially in times of COVID-19. So I am sure that officers will make very good use of the new facility.”


At the point of recruitment of officers into the Belize Police Department, there is a requirement for the successful applicants to be physically competent. “Fit for Duty” will allow the officers with the space and equipment to train and remain in shape.


Chester Williams

“There is nothing in the police regulations as oppose to the B.D.F., which is a military organization, that members must maintain a certain level of physical standard. But we do expect that our officers must to some extent maintain a certain body structure, a certain degree of fitness. You know that the police duties entail a lot of moving around, it entails the pursuing of criminals and we cannot pursue criminal and stop them with bullets at all times. We must from time to time, see how we can use our own physical self to be able to catch up with criminals. So we are hoping that with this gym, it will put us in a much better position to be able to do so.”


Corporal Theodore Lopez came up with the name for the gym, and so today, he was presented with a certificate; he also won cash and a year free to use the gym. 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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