As policing strategies change, vehicle checkpoints are becoming an increasingly common presence across Belize City. It's bad news for police who often have to base their operations beneath ragged tents - with no restroom. There have been isolated efforts to upgrade with the sponsorship of small wooden huts - but the one we saw today on Central American Boulevard near Faber's Road, is the best yet.
It was sponsored and donated to police by the Young family - who saw the police languishing in their area and sought to help by making a major difference:...
Hon. John Saldivar- Minister of National Security
"It is a small step for the Police Department but it's a giant step for the community that will be served by this facility."
ACP Alden Dawson, Regional Commander
"In my all 30 years, I have never seen a police outpost built in this fashion. It is the best outpost I have seen. And gentlemen, I know there will be a thank you session, but I want to say, at this juncture, thank you to Mr. Young and his family for donating such a building. As the regional commander I will ensure that this building is used to its full capacity."
Emile Young, Family Sponsored Police Booth
"This project first started when police officers were stationed outside our establishment. Since exposed to the weather, we then approached the then assistant commissioner Mr. Chester Williams and asked if we could provide his officers with a tent, table and chairs. With that being done, months after, we experienced several weathers which affected our officers. We then made a second approach to Mr. Williams and asked if we could provide a permanent structure that would withstand the weather. He then gave us the okay and told that it was a good idea and how he would appreciate it. Immediately, we started planning, getting all the necessary documents together for building the 12 by 14 structure you see behind me. And now today, this is the end-result of all our collaborative effort. This kind gesture was done with the sole purpose of enhancing public safety in the Port Loyola area, having police presence at all times."
Chester Williams- Commissioner of Police
"We want to be able to have something that will make the officers feel comfortable. And the cameras that are stationed to the booth outside were placed there so that if the officers are inside the booth, maybe it is raining or something, they can sit inside the booth and still be able to see what is happening outside by way of the camera."
The outpost - as it is being called - was donated by Way printing, 4 Way Stationery, the Young Family and Mark Lee. The Commissioner says sponsors are asking with assist with others and they will be modeled much like this one.