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May 20, 2022

Tourism Police Unit and B.T.B. Partners in Training

Members of the Tourism Police Unit have been training with a self-defense tactic instructor for the past two weeks. These officers operate within major tourist destinations across Belize. They must be prepared at all times to respond to any situation.  This is why the Belize Tourism Board partnered with the Belize Police Department to offer training exercises that will improve security measures within these major destinations, to the benefit of all stakeholders within the industry. We spoke with Abil Castaneda, the Director of Capacity Development at B.T.B. about the exercise.


Abil Castaneda

Abil Castaneda, Director of Cruise Quality Management Capacity Development, B.T.B.

“What we are finding is that it is well received because it is almost a refresher in some cases. Also, we are looking at new elements of training with our TPU, specifically dealing with how they communicate with people. How do they deescalate conflicts. How they deal with violent situations in a professional manner. I think that is the biggest win so far for the training. Of course there is an element of defense tactics they are learning as well which takes them to another level. And, that is also well received. It Is very fun to see when they do the proper tactics, none lethal ways of how to deescalate conflicts. So, that has been principally what we have seen so far and I must say that is exactly the main objective we wanted to see for those training. This is a part of a larger program that we are rolling. There is a national training program that the Belize Tourism Board is rolling out called elevate. There are five sub programs under that and one of those sub programs is actually called SAFE to train our industry on health and safety, but also on security, how to improve security measures. So they are just another unit of the Police Department. What they do is they work very closely with us in our major destinations. So, there is TPU in San Pedro, Caye Caulker, Cayo District, and down south. What they do is that they lend a much more direct connection with the Belize Tourism Board, the Ministry of Tourism when we need to follow up things. For example, when we do enforcement visits and checking whether our tour guides  are licensed , whether they are tour operators without a license, whether the hotel properties are maintaining themselves within the minimum requirements, it is our tourism police unit that supports us in going out and doing the check for us.”

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