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Dec 20, 2011

Cops show love to the elderly

On a lighter note, they say Christmas is for the children but the cheer spread to the Sister Cecilia Home for the Elderly today. There we found the Community Policing Unit; they were not on the beat but they were surely on their feet. News Five’s Delahnie Bain reports.

Delahnie Bain, Reporting

A group of officers from the Community Policing Unit showed other skills today as they entertained the residents of the Sister Cecilia Home for the Elderly. According to the Deputy Commander of the Unit, Corporal Hortence Hernandez, the party for the senior citizens is one of several community events on their Christmas calendar.

Cpl. Hortence Hernandez, Deputy Commander, Community Policing Unit

“Usually every year during this time of year during the Christmas season we have a number of activities going on for the Belize Police Department. We have ranging from under-privileged parties, we have where we give out food hampers to unfortunate families and we have this event here for the elderly at Sister Cecilia. It’s just a token of appreciation and we’re giving back to the community.”

Delahnie Bain

Hortence Hernandez

“So what do you have in store for them today?”

Cpl. Hortence Hernandez

“As you can see, we have officers in there already dancing with them, we will be singing karaoke with them, we’ll serve them supper and at the end of the activity we have a little bag of grapes and mint sweet for them.”

Rose Armstrong is the Director at the Sister Cecilia Home and she welcomes the annual initiative to lift the spirits of the forty-eight residents.  It also helps the sometimes negative image of Police Department.

Rose Armstrong, Director, Sister Cecilia Home for the Elderly

“I think it’s a very good venture because around here we have the community policing that takes place and from time to time they come and check on the residents and see if we need any help or anything and I think it’s a good way for them to communicate with the community and give back to the community.”

Rose Armstrong

Delahnie Bain

“What do you think this event means to the residents here?”

Rose Armstrong

“Well I think they look forward to it because they have been doing it for at least five years I think. You find that when the police they come they interact with them, they dance with them, they serve them their meals. And so they look forward to it.”

Cpl. Hortence Hernandez

“Believe me this is really a great image of Belize Police Department and we need to have more people like this showing this side of policing. It is not just arresting and charging people; we do the proactive side of policing. We don’t wait until something occurs to intervene; we intervene before it happens.”

Armstrong says they are lucky to have several organizations that host events for the residents during the Christmas season while Corporal Hernandez encourages everyone to join in the spirit of giving this Christmas.

Rose Armstrong

“During the month of December especially, like almost every week—the first group that came was the Mercy Sunshine Group, they came on the twelfth. Then we have Belize Water Services; for the past two years they come in and have party with them and serve them a meal also. Then you have the schools that come in. we have St. Joseph School that came in, we have the academy private school and we have like Holy Redeemer; all of them try to do something. Plus we have the community service done by students from UB, SJC and St. Catherine. So they are busy always.”

Delahnie Bain

“So even though they’re not with their families, they still have the spirit of Christmas.”

Rose Armstrong

“Oh yes, they do have the spirit. I think they get the spirit before me.”

Cpl. Hortence Hernandez

“I would like to say to the business community and generally people who can afford to give something to somebody that doesn’t have, this is the season to share whatever you have. If you have two apples, give half to somebody and half to a next person. Just share the love that we all have and Christmas is about giving so let’s share with everybody.”

Delahnie Bain for News Five.

This past Saturday, the Community Policing Unit also held a Christmas party for one hundred and seventy-five needy children.

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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