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Oct 31, 2022

More Body Cams to Keep Rogue Cops in Check

Today, the Belize Police Department added one hundred body cameras to its inventory. The Gang Intelligence, Investigation and Interdiction Unit, or G.I.3., has been incorporating body cameras in its daily operations for some time. And, G.I.3.’s superiors say that it has been an effective tool in curbing incidents of police brutality. With the addition of one hundred new body cams, the department is rolling out this video capture equipment to more of its units. A handing over ceremony was held at the Raccoon Street Police Station in Belize City this afternoon. News Five’s Paul Lopez reports.


Paul Lopez, Reporting

The Ministry of Tourism and Diaspora Relations donated one hundred body cameras to The Belize Police Department. Minister of Tourism Anthony Mahler says the safety and security of the tourism industry is at the heart of the donation.


Anthony Mahler

Anthony Mahler, Minister of Tourism

“We have had instances whereby we have reacted to issues in certain destinations. We prefer to be more proactive to minimize the issue that occurs in a destination. We believe through partnership with the police department, we have the tourism police that work with us on a daily basis. And, we will continue to provide the level of support we think they need to ensure they carry out their functions as effectively and efficiently as possible.”


According to Kareem Musa, the Minister of Home Affairs, the body cameras will serve as a measure of accountability to police officers on patrol.


Kareem Musa

Kareem Musa, Minister of Home Affairs

“The Commissioner was reminding me of the statistics a little while ago, that the unit that currently utilizes body cams in their operations, we have seen a drastic decline of almost eight percent in incidents related to abuse by police officers. So, this is a very effective tool. Not only does it result in greater accountability. It also provides much needed footage. Many times we see officers going on a scene and the last thing they are thinking about is let me pull out my cell phone to record what is taking place. And many times we see spliced videos making it on to the media.”

Commissioner of Police Chester Williams was present to receive the donation from his minister. He placed his officers on notice.


Chester Williams

Chester Williams, Commissioner of Police

“While the body cam will be used as a means of check and balance, it can also be used as a means to confirm or deny allegations against police officers. So, I would want to encourage police officers to see the body cam as something that is helpful to them instead of something detrimental. It is detrimental to you if it is that you will be out there committing yourselves or doing something out of the ordinary. But, if it is that you are going to about doing your job the way it is to be done then certainly there should be no fear in the use of the body CAM.”


Police officers at checkpoints across the country will be equipped with checkpoints. Specialized Units, Quick Response Teams, GI3 officers, and the Tourism Police Unit will also be equipped with body-cams.


Chester Williams

“The policy we have is very good. I went through it myself. Our legal team put it together and it is good. It is for officers to comply. We have a Compliance Unit in Belmopan to ensure compliance with our policies. If it is that lets say and officer will lose the bodycam to negligence he or she will have to buy it back. If it is that the officers will be performing duty and a commander or supervisor will check on them and check the body cam and it’s not working when it should be working, they have to answer.”


Reporting for News Five, I am Paul Lopez

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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