Ccreating partnership, finding solutions
“The greater the momentum of a ship, the longer it takes to turn. One comforting observation is that a huge ship can nevertheless be turned by a small rudder. It just takes time and requires the rudder to set steadfastly for the turn throughout the whole turning process.” Malcolm K. Sparrow.
I pray that all residents of San Pedro, Ambergris Caye “La Isla Bonita” and Caye Caulker “La Isla Carinosa” give serious attention to the economical threat to the bread winning basket (Tourism) and welfare of their future, in view of the gravity of the escalating criminal violence which remain a challenge for the present and future and in particular, the availability of the drugs and firearms.
There is an increase of willingness to commit murder rather than leave witnesses- even for petty crime.
The dangers facing us will not go away by ignoring them, they will only become greater. These problems will not be cured over night they have been too long in the making.
But if we leave the status quo as is, it will carry us to the, “point of no return.” In the Air condition world of ideal solutions it is possible to have things both ways. In the nitty gritty reality of Belize’s daily that is usually not the case.
Our response will continue to be reactive and behind time- not preventative and ahead of the game if we narrow (local) thinking, practice barrier techniques (red tap) and pull out band aid solutions.
Nothing we do will be enough without the will, support and vigilance of the communities.
That leaves us with the bigger question what can we do as communities? To date the sovereign remedy prescribed to meet these challenges is based on better intelligence-led activities by all stake holders, coupled with greater cooperation and partnership between the interested sectors. Remembering the three key pillars:
1. Strong Laws
2. Stringent Enforcement
3. Community Partnership
To reduce crime, as a model to be replicated in other townships.
There is a need to redefine what’s on the ground, which is , neighborhood watches, zoning of the island into three specific geographic areas, SARAH, acronym for Problem solving model. (Scanning, Analysis, Response, Assessment) and compostat a soft ware process used in collecting analyzing and mapping crime data and other essential Police performance, measured on a regular basis and holds police managers accountable for their performance as measured by the data.
There is a need to work with sensitivity and intercultural awareness by responding to needs identified by residents.
The Community and the Police must come together to find strategies to solve problems. Establishing an atmosphere of trust, availability and communication is crucial to the relationship.
Active volunteers are solid assets for the community. They can build positive relationships with youths; we know that even one caring adult can keep a young person away from crime.
The Challenge is for each resident to remain committed to the struggle of partnership in the communities.
Once you choose the power of choice and ownership and realize the impact your voice carries, the pendulum of partnership occurs.
Training is the back bone of any change process and requires a commitment of time and resources, patience are necessary during this phase. You can rest assured that the Commanding Officer Mr. Luis Castellanos will with his vision and leadership continue to train residents in all aspect of community policing and work hand in hand with “La Isla Bonita” and “La Isla Carinosa” to find solutions affecting the quality of life and reduce crime.
Kudos to the residents who have taken the first walk in the journey in the approach to meet the challenges, creating partnership, to find the necessary solutions, although small communities like the rudder of a ship, but steadfast and persistent in the true zero tolerance to crime.
One thing remains crystal clear, that the safety and welfare of residents and visitors remain the priority of all Residents.
Prepared by, Ret. Police Supt.
18th March 20,2014
San Pedro Sun