If you’re an avid television viewer and watch the one hour crime dramas like Law and Order, then the Prime Minister spoke directly to you when he announced that Belize will soon acquire its own CSI or Crime Scene Investigation unit, complete with a DNA lab. Barrow said that the funding to set up the long-awaited DNA lab, which was promised in the U.D.P.’s election campaign, has now been secured due to the US State Department’s Central American Regional Security Initiative (CARSI). In addition to the lab Barrow said that other security initiatives for the police and the 911 service will also be implemented.
“Through our local resources, Government is financing the refurbishment of the physical space at the present National Forensic Science Service Building, as this is where the new DNA equipment will be operationalized. GOB is also paying for the foreign expert that will train our local personnel in the new science. And draft legislation has already been prepared to provide for the acceptance of DNA evidence by our courts of law. To complete this forensic picture, a new, fully outfitted, top-of-the line Scenes of Crime vehicle will be in country next month. It will have the refrigeration capacity, the kits and all the other tools to do onsite preliminary specimen analysis. Welcome to CSI Belize! Three new mobile interdiction units will also be made operational, two in the North and one in the South. These will deploy for the interception of illicit drug-and other serious crime-activities.
Additionally, the Police are upgrading their communication equipment in a major way. A new 911 call center will be capable of handling seventy calls simultaneously; and a new Crime Information Management System will allow for the electronic documentation of crime data from the time a complaint is made straight through the investigation and prosecution processes. No longer will there be any possibility of files going missing, simply disappearing. Finally, electronic fingerprinting machines are even now being installed in each of six District stations. The system will store and match fingerprints and identify suspects through a countrywide database of samples.”