The Cayo District is making strides toward greater efficiency in its fight against crime, one of which is in area of forensics – as the San Ignacio, Santa Elena and Benque Viejo substations have all received fingerprinting machinery. An integral part of any Police investigation is evidence, for it is evidence that forms the foundation of any court case and in a criminal investigation. That is why this next step in the forensic era is essential for the Cayo Police formation. Sr. Supt Chester Williams, Officer in Charge of Santa Elena and San Ignacio told us how fingerprinting system will benefit not only his formation, but the entire country.
Sr. Supt Chester Williams, Officer in Charge of Santa Elena/San Ignacio It is an automated fingerprint identification system. That system will be utilized within the Cayo Police formation in assisting the Police in investigating cases from a scientific perspective. It will be used to identify fingerprint that we lift from crime scenes. What we do after the system is set up is begin to populate the system. I can also say that if a person commits a crime in San Ignacio and we lift the fingerprint of that person from crime scene, if that person's fingerprint was already in the system from either Belize City or Belmopan, we will scan it through our system in San Ignacio. It will make a match and it will tell us exactly who that person is - their identity, photographs, everything.
Even more development for the Cayo area, they have recently graduated some forty one Special Constables. Williams says this will maximize their human resources.
Sr. Supt Chester Williams We understand the deficiency that the Police Department faces in terms of human resources. Yesterday we have graduated forty one Special Constables who will now be assisting the Police in conducting patrols and answering the telephone and this is with the view to maximize our human resources. What we can do now is that instead of having two Police Officers patrolling a particular area, we will have one Police and one Special Constable in that area and then put another Police and another Special Constable in another area. So instead of having one patrol, we now have two. So we are now maximizing our human resources to be able to be more effective in our patrols of the twin towns of San Ignacio/ Santa Elena.
Also playing a major role in combating crime and violence are the residents of that area, as the Cayo District currently holds the most community policing groups.
Sr. Supt Chester Williams We continue to work with neighborhood watch groups forming them and I am pleased to announce that we have a total of twelve neighborhood watch groups in San Ignacio/ Santa Elena. We also have a Neighborhood Watch Committee, whereby members from the different neighborhood watch groups - the President or Vice President come together and they have a committee. That committee is responsible for the entire neighborhood watch programs in San Ignacio and Santa Elena. We now have people in the different areas of San Ignacio and Santa Elena looking out for their neighbors and assisting the Police in effectively policing the areas. Since last week and we continued this week and we will continue next week - myself, my Deputy, Mr. Reyes, Mr. Rodriguez and Mr. Valencia are going to the respective neighborhood watch group areas and we are holding town meetings with them. In the meetings we give them tips as to why and how to report a crime, how to keep their homes safe and how to identify suspects and vehicles. This is all with a view to give them tips of how to make the neighborhood safer.