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Jul 29, 2022

Fifty-four More City Traffic Officers Now Have Powers of Arrest

The Belize City Council today swore in fifty-four more of its traffic officers as special constables, giving them the powers of arrest. Along with that milestone was the launch of the Council’s Enforcement Department out of which the officers will work. It is a merging of two existing units that, under the new system, will enable them to deal with a wider scope of matters, pertaining to traffic, trade and liquor licenses. News Five’s Marion Ali reports.


Marion Ali, Reporting

The congestion of traffic in the unplanned zones and along narrow city streets should see some ease with the swearing in today of new Special Constables who have the power to place anyone who violates the traffic, trade or liquor licensing laws under arrest. Belize City Mayor Bernard Wagner explained that the Council is joining the resources of two units under one umbrella to create better efficiency and give more strength to the Council’s law enforcement arm to address what has been deemed as “lawlessness among some city residents.”


Bernard Wagner

Bernard Wagner, Mayor, Belize City

“The only way we can change this lawlessness is through assertive enforcement of the regulations – the ones that we have on our books, and most importantly, to boost the morale and the powers of those entrusted to do the enforcement – very, very important. Today’s launch of our newly-formed Enforcement Department might very well be one of the most important initiatives this City Council has ever embarked on. Our traffic officers brought the same complaints to us over and over again. People nuh respect dehn, people nuh respect the law, people nuh respect the traffic officers, and dehn nuh even respect the city. Other enforcement officials give similar complaints. Myself, many times I’m on social media complaining, complaining, complaining about civic pride, about complying with the laws.”


Receiving his certificate along with his fellow special constables was Kevan Jenkins, the Council’s Enforcement Manager.


Kevan Jenkins

Kevan Jenkins, Enforcement Manager, Belize City Council

“We have merged the Traffic Department and the Special Constables Department together, so the traffic officers are now sworn in as special constables and now we’re going to be empowered to deal with different operations. For instance, we have the parking meters, we have trade and liquor, we have traffic and we also have internal security and discipline.”


Training Officer, Sr. Supt. Leslie Wade says that learning is a continuous process and that application of the lesson is key.


Leslie Wade

Sr. Supt. Leslie Wade, Sr., Training Officer

“Whatever you do out there, ensure it is done within the confines of the law because remember, the same powers that you have to detain persons or to issue a ticket, you are not exempted from that same action. Treat people the way you would want to be treated.”


Marion Ali For News Five

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