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Aug 9, 2022

Youths Nationwide Participate in National Forensics Camp

Over the past two weeks, the National Forensics Science Service engaged over three hundred youths from across the country with lessons on crime scenes investigation, during their first annual National Forensics Youth Camp. The Ariel Rosado Foundation pitched the idea for the camp to the Director of the Forensics Department, Gian Cho. The foundation then sponsored the camp which Cho and his team took to five districts for two days each. The final day of the National Forensics Youth Camp was held today in Dangriga Town. News Five’s Paul Lopez reports.

 

Paul Lopez, Reporting

A first-of-its-kind, National Forensics Youth Camp kicked off in the Belize District on the second of August.The initiative is a partnership between the Belize National Forensic Science Service and the Ariel Rosado Foundation. The camp was created to educate young minds across the country on the importance of forensic investigation in solving crimes here in Belize.

 

Chester Williams

Chester Williams, Commissioner of Police

“We are seeing a trend where our young people for the most part are being influenced into gangs by these gang figures. So, when we can have events like these that promote positivity into our young people and we see young people participating, it certainly is a breath of fresh air and something we should all applaud.”

 

The youth camp is being led by Gian Cho, the Director of the Belize National Forensic Science Service. Today, Cho and his team engaged approximately thirty high school age children who gathered inside a classroom on the Holy Ghost Primary School Compound in Dangriga Town.

 

Gian Cho

Gian Cho, Director, Belize National Forensic Science Service

“We developed an agenda, a curriculum for the day, make it an educational experience for our young people to understand what forensics is all about, what investigations is all about. Just now, before the break, we had an investigator, one of the investigators in Dangriga come and tell us what his day is like, what his role is like in police and how they can support the Police Department in terms of solving crime. Later this afternoon we will have the community oriented policing Unit talking about how the community plays a critical role in preventing and responding to crime.”

 

We also spoke with Sergeant Holly Vasquez who heads the Crimes Investigation Branch in Dangriga. Vasquez has led a number of high-profile criminal investigations, including the William “Danny” Mason, et.al, murder investigation which resulted in five convictions and life sentences. Vasquez was one of today’s guest presenters.

 

Holly Vasquez

Sgt. Holly Vasquez, Head of Crime Investigation Branch, Dangriga

“In my expertise, I deal with many murder cases. So, I would show them alright this is how we get together, put together our evidence along with the forensic technicians and we will put that in terms of a file.  The file is then put forth, sent to the office of the Director of Public Prosecution and the court ultimately will determine if that person is culpable or not.”

 

For most of these students, this is their first time learning about the work of scenes of crime investigators in such a setting. We spoke with a few participants about their experience during the two-day camp here in Dangriga.

 

Jeavon Hulse

Jeavon Hulse, Participant

“I think that this is an important field because this is how we can make our communities safer, using forensics and so on. It can make our communities safer because it can keep the criminals afraid so that they know that if they commit a crime there is consequences behind it and that the police can easily find you.”

 

Crystel Williams

Crystel Williams, Participant

“I actually never know nothing about it so dah like a new experience for me.”

 

Roxanne Peters

Roxanne Peters, Youth Officer, D.Y.S Dangriga

“You know, right now in Dangriga we are having a lot of crimes right. I believe that back then we didn’t get these kinds of things to help us when we were growing up. So, this will be a good thing for them to take on from today and more in life.”

 

Reporting for News Five, I am Paul Lopez

 


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