On Saturday night, December 11th, The Cantina Restaurant hosted the first annual Christmas party and award ceremony for the San Pedro Police Officers. The evening kicked off with a complimentary turkey dinner complete with all the trimmings. After the crowd of peace officers and their families enjoyed the festive meal, Tammy Peterson led an award ceremony honoring outstanding police officers for the 2010 year. Nominated by their peers and supervisors, an officer for each month of the year was recognized for exceptional performance and dedication. As each recipient was announced, they were awarded with a gift certificate and asked to introduce themselves, where they were originally from, and why they choose to be an officer of the law. Each responded with the same commitment to serving the community and upholding the law and was warmly applauded by their co-workers.

The Officer of the Month awards were as follows: January - WPC Thomas, February - WPC Jones, March - PC J Martinez, April - PC Smith, May - Corp Romero, June - PC Shaw, July - PC Lyons, August - PC Sutherland and PC Chable, September - SC Lawrence, October - SC Moralez, November - Corp McCulloch and December - WPC Avalar.

Superintendent Arnold was then recognized for his years of leadership and community support and was given the floor to announce the Officer of the Year for most outstanding service and dedication. PC Lyons received the distinct award and enthusiastically accepted the compliment. Special thanks were also issued to Corp Pitt and PC Sutherland for their efforts in helping with the trash cleanup campaign on the island and Special Constables Josh Buettner from the South Ambergris Caye Neighborhood Watch and Chris Berlin from the North Ambergris Caye Neighborhood Watch were recognized for outstanding service.

Following the award presentation it was then time for the White Elephant gift exchange with presents donated by many local businesses. More than forty officers enjoyed opening the wrapped packages one by one and partaking in the fun antics of re-gifting. The night was great fun and a rare opportunity for the officers to relax and enjoy camaraderie.

Special thanks go to all those involved in making this first annual Christmas party a huge success. Aji, Asian Gardens, Black Orchid Spa, Bob Kjorlein / Cloisters Condominiums, Bowen & Bowen, Dick and Diane Hoffman, El Pescador, Eric and Doc, Fidos, Gus and Diane Tabony and the Toucan Gift Shops, Hyta, Joy, La Playa Lounge, Lazy Croc BBQ, Legends Burger House, Lola's Pub, Marcie and Ken, Nautica Restaurant, Pages Bookstore, Pedro's Pizza, Picasa Wine and Spirit, Quality Chicken, Reef Realty, Sail Away Coffee Shop, the staff at Atlantic Bank, Super Buy, The Cantina, The Palm Restaurant at Reef Village, The San Pedro Sun, Tres Pescado Fishing, Victoria House Resort and Restaurant and Wild Mangos all did their part in contributing one way or another and a great big thanks go out to all with a special kudos to Tammy Peterson, owner of The Cantina, for organizing this event.

San Pedro Sun