A New Police Barracks for Caye Caulker

With Election Day fast approaching, government is undertaking a number of projects across the country. Today, the police department in San Pedro were celebrating their new living quarters. The Ministers of National Security and Tourism and the Commissioner of Police were out in full force on the island for the inauguration of the facility. News Five’s Duane Moody was on Caye Caulker and files the following report.

Duane Moody, Reporting

For some time now, the barracks in which police officers on Caye Caulker were living was in a deplorable condition and unsuitable to the welfare of some twenty-nine officers who work around the clock to keep the island safe. After years of appeals made for the construction of a suitable place for the law enforcement officers, today, the Caye Caulker Police Barracks was officially launched.

Seleny Villanueva-Pott, Chairlady, Caye Caulker Village Council

“Today is a very historic day for Caye Caulker. We’ve gone from having one police and his family here now to twenty-eight or twenty-nine officers; that is a squad we have of police here. So knowing the history and the living condition, I had to acknowledge the C.E.O. for acknowledging the fact that the conditions they were living is deplorable and to have this now, it is surreal in a way. Sometime we always feel like Caye Caulker is forgotten and when we see something like this it reminds us of how blessed we are as an island. So it is an excellent start and it gives us courage to probably see a second floor and a third floor going up.”

Commissioner of Police Chester Williams has been championing the welfare of officers for some time now and says that the facility will help to boost the officers’ morale.

Chester Williams, Commissioner of Police

“For some time now, our officers have been staying in deplorable conditions and despite that, they still come and function to the best of their ability to keep the residents of Caye Caulker safe. And so these officers ought to be commended. The fact that they are going to move into this facility, I am sure it is going to be a boost of their morale to see that their welfare is being looked after.”

The building has twenty windows, ten double doors and was built with a foundation to take on two upper floors; this is in hope for expansion. Each room has a bathroom and was furnished with a bed and a stove top oven. The contractor was Gaby’s Construction Company Limited from San Pedro and it was funding from the Government of Belize. The estimated cost of the project is three hundred and thirty-six thousand two hundred and fifty-five dollars.

Michael Peyrefitte, Minister of National Security

“The Ministry of National Security has now embarked on developing and sustaining a robust culture of wellness. A culture that will prioritize continuous improvement of the working conditions for all law enforcement; a culture that will prioritize the physical and emotional health and a culture that will improve all aspects of police life—all in an effort to improve the services that the police department offers.”

Channel 5