Today, 127 recruits from squad intake #89 passed out to become full police officers. They’ve been training for the last 16 weeks. At their graduation, their Police Minister, John Saldivar, welcomed them to the Department, and after the ceremony, we asked Commissioner Whylie about this infusion, and where they will go.
Here’s what he told us:
Allen Whylie - Commissioner of Police
"It's amongst the largest indeed. I think the last squad 88, they were 130 recruit. This one is 127 recruits, so it’s amongst the largest indeed."
"Where will these officers be posted? We understand that majority of them will be assigned to Belize City."
"Yes, Belize City continues to be our area of focus. And so, the majority of the officers will be posted within Belize City, Eastern Division. I have tried to look at the situation in terms of the needs, and try to measure that quite carefully. As a result, other officers are also going to be posted in every formation across this country. So, every formation will be getting a few officers. I am certain they'll say that they needed and deserved more, but there is only so much we can give. So, I've tried to assist every formation."
"In past years, there have been some problems cropping up, which has pointed maybe a deficiency in the training that the recruits receive. Under your watch, has there been anything different in that training?"
"Well, the curriculum continues to be reviewed. We've been having some assistance through the US Embassy. An American consultant, who knows about training, has been assisting us, reviewing our syllabus. We've been putting in a number of procedures that we can improve. These will be reviewed after each and every training. One of the new features that we'll be introducing very shortly to support the new recruits who have passed out, is a program for a field training officer. An officer will be identified, given specialized training, and that officer will be attached to each formation. He or she will be responsible to assist the recruits, to monitor, develop training programs based on observations, and how they are performing."
The 8 most outstanding recruits this year were Women Police Constables Shanique Rocca, Samantha Sambula, Casey Ann Requena, Kimberly Thompson, and Juliet Sanchez, and Police Constables Lorenzo Tun, Joseph Sutherland, and Harrison Gabourel.
There are currently about 1,500 enlisted police officers.