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Jun 17, 2008

CitCo security initiative launched at Salvation Army …

Story PictureIn these tough economic times, Belize’s educational institutions find it hard to get the equipment they need. But efforts to provide for students are made even more difficult when school property is vandalized or stolen. But today one such school which has repeatedly suffered the hardships of a break-in received welcomed reprieve. News Five’s Kendra Griffith reports.

Anthony Michael, Deputy Mayor, Belize City Council
“The Salvation Army is always there to assist. It is indeed a pleasure for us now to be of assistance to you.”

Kendra Griffith, Reporting
This morning the Belize City Council’s National Anti-Crime Association gave the Salvation Army School the gift of peace of mind in the form better security measures.

Mark King, City Councillor
“Today the Belize City Council reinforces its secure a school programme, a programme designed to provide the proper protection for the schools that may have been vandalised or are financially incapable of accommodating a security budget, especially in the summer when everyone leaves the school.”

The Secure-A-School programme is the brainchild of Councillor Responsible for Crime Prevention, Mark King.

Mark King
“We had a meeting with most of the teachers and principals at the schools and their major problem was that they did not have a budget to hire a security guard or have a security element or it would cut into their feeding programme or something else. What we immediately did was started collaborating with the business houses and individuals that would have wanted to support the programme. It took us a while but at the end of the day we were very prevalent to say get a lot of support for the program. What we did this time, besides just the alarm, we placed a security officer on the grounds of the school that will be here twenty-four seven to monitor the school’s activity.”

For Salvation Army Regional Commander, Major Errol Robateau, the programme is a welcomed relief as their institution has been burglarised four times in the last year, with the latest break-in occurring just last week.

Major Errol Robateau, Regional Cmdr., Salvation Army
“An inside job was done by one or two students who came in. they got into the principal’s office by breaking one door and kicking the lock of another door and took some money that had been collected for school purposes. This security system will help us to be more comfortable in doing our job, to relax the teachers in not being afraid to put out their things and knowing that they are safe.”

The security guard duties begin tonight and run through the summer holiday.

Mark King
“We would like to continue it throughout. However, that will depend on how many people we have donating to us, or business houses, by way of a budgetary concept.”

Kendra Griffith
“Is the city council securing any other schools at the moment?”

Mark King
“No, not at the moment. We do have, I would say, some applications for some other schools but we have a process where we review them, we go to the schools and we speak to the teachers and so forth to find out if the really need it because we really want to give it to people this year that really need it.”

Today the Salvation Army also held an open day to showcase the work of their more than two hundred and fifty students. Kendra Griffith reporting for News Five.

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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