The Belize Police Department has added 101 new members to its ranks. Patrick Jones has the story.

Patrick Jones, Reporter

"After sixteen weeks of intensive training in all aspects of police work. Today, one hundred and one of men and women graduated from the national police training academy in Belmopan. Eighteen women are included in the newest set of officers to join the department. Guest speaker at the graduation, minister of police and public safety, Douglass Singh congratulated the new officers on attainment of their certification as law enforcement officer. He encouraged them to uphold the high expectations that the nation has in them and says that his government will do all it can to support them and the department so that they can continue to play a crucial role in maintaining law and order. The one hundred and one new police men and women are entering the department at a time when the nation's crime rate is the highest it has ever been and when corruption has tainted the image of the police department. Still, minister Singh has high hopes that as these new officer are successfully translate what they learned in the classroom to their assigned duties then they can make a difference. Commissioner of Police Crispin Jeffries tells Love News that a good two-thirds of the new officers are being assigned to duties in Belize City; either for patrol duties or in support of a particular unit involved in crime fighting initiatives in the old capital. And even before the chalk is rubbed off the blackboard here at the training academy preparations are already being made for the next intake, which the commissioner of police expects to begin training by the end of November."  

Reporting for Love News from the National police training academy in Belmopan, I am Patrick Jones.

Receiving the baton of honour was PC Gustavo Pech. First place in the written exam was won by PC Sheldon Williams. The recipient of the Commandants Prize was PC Benjamin Ranguy. PC Donaldo Cus received the award for consistently good performance. PC Edilson Patt received the First Aid award. PC Albert Sutherland Junior won top honors in  Physical Training and shooting.