Screen_shot_2012-10-24_at_6.25.25_PMIt's very rare to hear about police officers meeting with their respective community members to listen to their concerns in efforts of building a better working relationship. That is what newly appointed Senior Commanding Officer at the Corozal Police Station, Andrew Ramirez, did last night. In a town's meeting, Superintendent Ramirez presented to residents the crime statistics for Corozal Town for the months of July, August and September of this year. The participation of residents was not what we expected but the initiative and effort was present and so was our news team.

Hipolito Novelo - Reporting

Last night residents of Corozal Town gathered at the Andres Campos Civic Centre to air out their concerns to the newly appointed Officer Commanding the Corozal Police Formation Andrew Ramirez. Of course one of the main causes of concern is crime which seems to have plagued the once peaceful community.

A few months ago the community saw an increase in the number of robberies and burglaries and in order to assists the police a group of concerned residents formed the Citizens for a Better Corozal Coalition.

But soon after blood began to flow in Corozal and the murder rate started to escalate. The most shocking murder was that of 18 year old Shanny Federsdorf and her mother 35 year old Clari Federsdorf which was recorded on July 4th. But the carnage did not end there; just one week after, another double murder was recorded. This time 38 year old Robert Hernandez and his cousin 50 year old Kenrick Vacarro were the victims.

All of these murders have been factored in for latest statistics up to September of this year as explained by Officer Commanding the Corozal Police Station, Andrew Ramirez.

Andrew Ramirez, OC Corozal Police Station

"July, August and September 2012, we had a total of one murder for 2011, whilst for 2012 for the same period speaking about we had seen an increase of six, six irreplaceable lives and these lives belongs to families, friends, neighbourhoods and these are six additional lives, in relations to the robberies there was a total of ten for the same period unlike 2012 we had nine, for thefts we had 36 for 2011, for 2012 we had 26, for burglaries, that is of breaking of homes and home invasions we had 38 and this year we have one rape, and the carnal knowledge we had one likewise this year 2012 for the same period."

During yesterday's meeting Ramirez also shared his discontent and disappointed as it relates to the confiscation of drugs, firearms and ammunitions.

Andrew Ramirez, OC Corozal Police Station

"For Cannabis or weed, we had a total of 366.6 grams confiscated, whilst for 2012 we had 381.8 grams a slight increase for knowing a town like Corozal being a hub of trafficking I personally as the new commandeer am very disappointed on procedures in relation to that.  Cocaine nil for 2011 and 2012 again very disappointed and as a new commander there will be improvements otherwise as the commissioner has mentioned shape-up or shape-out."

Andrew Ramirez, OC Corozal Police Station

"For pistols there were a total of five, for 2012 there were a total of four, shot-guns a total of one for 2012 , ammunition 31 ammunition and some cartridges is 2 and again gentlemen again my blood is burning just to find out about things that need and will be improved."

Accompanying Ramirez last night was his deputy, assistant Superintendent Daniel Arzu and Commissioner of Police David Henderson. But the purpose of the meeting was not only to present the crime statistics for Corozal Town, it also served as an opportunity for residents to voice out some of their concerns.


"My question, Commissioner, is that are you satisfied with the Intelligence Gathering Mechanism of the police department?"

Commissioner of Police Department

"Mr. Marin, we are working in the Intelligence Gathering, we are running quite a number of course, we have since join forces with both the police and the military so there will be improvement with the Intelligence gathering."


"The crime and fact if you have noticed the crime is happening among the young community and that is telling me that our young people are in trouble and I think that there are ways that things can be done.  The officer in charge mentioned about the human resource facility and to me we have so many entities in the government that are not functioning and if they are invited to come on board and do their duty a difference can be made."

And for these problems Superintendent Ramirez has solutions, solutions that according to him will see a reduction in crime, at least in the Corozal District.

Andrew Ramirez, OC Corozal Police Station

"We have also activated our border patrol info at the northern border with the Mexicans our counterparts I saw a four man team temporary, they have two in the morning and two on one o'clock in the morning, these are the persons that will assist our colleagues, immigration, customs and border management for the safety of that entrance from any kind of any criminal activity, we have also have bicycles patrol on the sea sides in the morning and evening time because there are members of the community that exercises in the morning and we want to give them that sense of safety and security, we also increase as I mention the community unit and we have activated some of the neighbourhood watches."

Challenges, there will be many say's Ramirez, especially if we take into consideration the fact that man power and equipment are limited.

Andrew Ramirez, OC Corozal Police Station

"The challenges that we have at the police department can be seen as many but there are some more urgent ones that needs attention, there is a need to increase mobility and in that it includes human resources, we must understand the threat with narco-trafficking is no longer a thing of the past and if we have heard the news there are officials from the Mexican government involved in serious crimes here in Belize so there is no need to ask ourselves it is real because their own officials are involved and that is how this serious threats are, also we need internal training amongst ourselves, we need to have more respect for our community, we need to have that manner of speaking to the public and we need to always believe that we need to treat the community good."

The latest statistics show that so far for the year 2012 Corozal has recorded 6 fatal traffic accidents compared to 2011 when there were only 2. The Corozal Police Department expects to meet with residents every three months.