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May 17, 2022

Tactical Training for Tourism Police Officers

Today at the Mexico Sports Center in Belize City, tourism police officers were engaged in tactical training. It is organized by the Belize Tourism Board to instruct the officers on how to address crime situations involving tourists. It includes apprehending armed perpetrators without incident. Shihan Ray Kelly of the House of Shotokan Karate is the defensive tactics instructor. He tells News Five that today is about teaching the officers the guidelines and on Friday, they will put that knowledge to test through various scenarios.


Shihan Ray Kelly, Defensive Tactics Instructor, House of Shotokan Karate

“Contact and cover; that means that they have encountered a subject that is noncompliant, armed and dangerous, and they have to affect an arrest. The subject just robbed a tourist and the tourism police have encountered that subject, but that subject is armed and dangerous and they must affect that arrest to secure that bad guy in this case and then get him into prosecutions. The police take command at all times. That is what the officer has in his power, is that voice command. Once the weapon is out, bad guy is looking at two weapons pointing downrange at him. Bad guy has to make that decision – do I want to live or do I want to die. And if he wants to die, he makes that decision – obviously, it would be a justifiable shooting. Friday, they will be putting all of the in-house training together and then we will throw scenarios at them. Vehicle stop – not necessarily that the tourist was robbed, but what happens if the tourist is in a taxi – hostage. So we will be going down that road and instructing and training these officers how to respond to critical situations such as those. Again, the objective is the safety of the tourist that comes to this country. The commissioner right now is very heavy on getting law enforcement trained. So this is a critical segment because these officers come in contact with foreigners, people who are visiting this country for the first time. And if they have a negative experience; i.e. being robbed or the police not doing their job in a professional way, it leaves a negative stigma for the country of Belize.”

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