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23 New Tourism Police Officers; San Pedro Gets 12! #537694
08/09/19 06:03 AM
08/09/19 06:03 AM
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 73,320
oregon, spr
Marty Offline OP

Marty  Offline OP

On June twenty-sixth, Commissioner of Police Chester Williams laid out a plan to the San Pedro community in the wake of the double murder of well-known tour guide Mario Graniel and tourist Doctor Gary Swank.  One of the Belize Police Department’s promises to San Pedro was to hire a dozen Tourism Police Officers. Well, today those twelve officers graduated as a part of a class of twenty-three.  This cohort of tourism police officers is not a part of the regular recruit.  They were all hired to work in tourism communities that are experiencing crime.  Today, the high commanding officers of the police gathered at the Police Training Academy in Belmopan to share welcome messages and advice for the new recruits.  News Five was there for the graduation ceremony and Andrea Polanco has the story.

Andrea Polanco, Reporting

These twenty-three Tourism Police Officers took an oath today to protect and serve. This is a special cohort. They were recruited in light of the growing safety concerns and spike in crime in tourism hotspots like San Pedro. The Commissioner of Police and the Commander of T.P.U. addressed the graduating class today.

Chester Williams, Commissioner of Police

“While you wear a shirt or uniform that represents Tourism Police Special Constable, you will not be looked upon out there as Special Constables. You will be seen like Police Officers because that is who you are. You are law enforcement officers. You will be called upon to do the same work that the officers in the Khaki and Blue will be called upon to do and that makes you police officers, as well.”

ASP Alison McLaughlin, Commander, T.P.U.

“To the new special constables, I say, welcome to the Belize Police Department. Go forth and do your job to the best of your abilities. Be professional, respectful, courteous, as you are all ambassadors of your country. Serve your community with pride and dignity and always abide by the golden rule; do right even when no one is looking.”

The regular special constables train for two weeks. These officers of the T.P.U. completed three weeks. They did an additional training in firearm handling and usage, as well as training in tourism related crimes. Sheldon Arzu is one of the top recruits in this cohort.

Sheldon Arzu, Graduate, T.P.U.

“On week one, subjects covered were constitutional rights where we learned the need to respect the rights of people. We will yield with justifiable force or harm; notebook entries; station diaries; firearm ops; powers of arrest; summons and warrants and the care and treatment of prisoners.  A course that highlight in week two was how to give evidence in court which entailed proper procedure such as examination, cross examination and re-examination. As week three commenced, courses covered were central information management system, fisheries act and crime prevention.”

Twelve of the officers will be deployed to San Pedro and five to Placencia. The other six will not get a job immediately. But before sending them off, Commissioner of Police gave the new officers some stern advice. He warned the officers to beware of the temptations they may face on La Isla Bonita – temptations that could derail their budding law enforcement career in the T.P.U.

Chester Williams

“Everybody you meet will want to offer you liquor. They won’t offer you a plate of food, you know. They will offer you liquor. San Pedro is known to have a lot of drunken police officers; officers who succumbed to the weakness of liquor. In most cases, the alcohol destroyed many good police men and women. Make sure, those of you who will go to San Pedro, you don’t fall in the same trap like as those police men and women who were destroyed by alcohol in San Pedro. It is truly a nice place to work and there truly exists many good people in San Pedro. But the underlining issue that you must ensure that you bear with you, at all times is that you can become weak and fall victim to alcohol consumption. Say no to alcohol. Say no to drugs.”

Channel 5

Re: 23 New Tourism Police Officers; San Pedro Gets 12! [Re: Marty] #537776
08/15/19 06:26 AM
08/15/19 06:26 AM
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 73,320
oregon, spr
Marty Offline OP

Marty  Offline OP

San Pedro Security Gets Senior Step Up

At the end of June when San Pedro tour guide Mario Graniel and his guest, American doctor and Gary swing were killed during a fly fishing tour, it sent San Pedro into a tailspin.

The community reeled from the brazen ruthlessness of the murder which was committed on the open water, and from the spinoff effects as tourist cancelled their upcoming vacations en masse.  

The state and the police department responded with the commitment to beef up the Island's tourism police unit - and they delivered on that today, in less than two months.  

Today they introduced the new officers on the island:

Supt. Chris Noble - OC, San Pedro
"As the master of ceremony said, brand new, so San Pedro is brand new. Brand new OC, brand new tourism police, brand new equipment and it come all for San Pedro so that we can make San Pedro a little better."

Chester Williams - Commissioner of Police
"Today is indeed a historic moment for us and more so for the people of San Pedro. We know that it was just a few weeks ago we were here on this same court discussing the issue of crime and what we would be doing to ensure that we address the crime issue in San Pedro and I know that night when myself and the minister spoke, some might have said well they come with words again and they'll be no action to back up those words. Well we're back here again today to demonstrate the government's commitment to ensure the safety of the people of San Pedro as well as our guests who visits this beautiful island of San Pedro. What we have done over the past few weeks was to recruit a number of tourism police officers who you are seeing in front of you today. There are some of them; we actually recruited 23. Of the 23, 13 came to San Pedro - so the 13 are added to the additional 4 that were already here bringing the San Pedro number to 17. We understand some of the difficulties that tourists have when they come to this island with persons begging them, selling them drugs, begging them for money, shaking them down - we want those things to stop."

"We expect that you are going to be out here and will be good ambassadors of the Belize Police Department. We don't want any complaints of corruption. Don't accept bribe from nobody because the minute you accept from one, you are going to accept from others. Do not accept alcohol from nobody because again, alcohol is going to get you in trouble. We want that you will be out here to perform your duties to the best of your ability. We want that you are going to contribute to the safety and security of San Pedro. The equipment that are going to be handed over today include motorcycles, golf carts and while one golf cart came to San Pedro, we actually got 3 golf carts. One went to Placencia and one went to Caye Caulker. So both Placencia and Caye Caulker also got golf carts. Placencia also got motorcycles, Caye Caulker got none but we have for San Pedro, 6 motorcycles - 2 of which will be used by the San Pedro South Neighbourhood watch group. So again, we want to see how we can assist the south neighbourhood watch group to be able to effectively police and patrol that part of the island. We also have air conditioning units, we have firearms, we have computer, printer - so the officers are getting everything that they need to be able to accomplish the task that has been given to them."

Rob Eykelbosch - North Ambergris Caye Neighbourhood Watch
"I'm ecstatic about it, I think this is fabulous. I mean we've got these new officers, they look sharp, their well-dressed, they're going to fit into the tourist mode on the island. So as a group, north neighbourhood watch and the mid island, we all got together and we raised enough money to buy the new jeep and we went and bought it for them. All of us believe that we have to support our local police and we recognize that they can't always get the equipment they need, so with generous donations from hotels and individuals, many individuals up north, we were able to raise enough money to buy the jeep for them without collaboration between business and individuals and police, this island would fall apart. We all have to do our part."

Hon. Manuel Heredia - Minister Of Tourism and Civil Aviation
"I am a little disappointed today with the residence and some of the other organizations that whenever the last murder occurred on the island, you had them in abundance over here crying out that something needs to be done and today the message was loud and clear that we have this for the community, we have this big package over here to offer - yet very few people were here to witness this occasion."

Williams says when the new police recruits pass out later this year, the number of officers in the island's TPU team will go to 22.  The TPU are assigned mainly to control criminal movement soon the north of the island.

Channel 7

Re: 23 New Tourism Police Officers; San Pedro Gets 12! [Re: Marty] #537800
08/16/19 06:15 AM
08/16/19 06:15 AM
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 73,320
oregon, spr
Marty Offline OP

Marty  Offline OP
[Linked Image]

San Pedro Town gets 13 new Tourism Police Officers, donated vehicles and essential items

To make San Pedro Town safer for visitors and residents alike, the Belize Police Department added 13 new constables to the island’s Tourism Police Unit (TPU) on Wednesday, August 14th at an official ceremony held at the Angel Nuñez Auditorium. They will join the current four tourism officers in San Pedro, bringing the number to a total of 17. The official event also saw the presentation of six motorcycles, a golf cart, air condition units, a computer, printer, and firearms to properly equip the officers with everything they need to effectively police the island. The new constables also received a vehicle (Jeep), which was donated by the North Ambergris Caye Neighbourhood Watch (NACNW).

The officers will be tasked with patrolling tourism areas on the island, visit business establishments, and enhance the safety of every visitor. They will also work along with the NACNW where some of them will be assigned. Rob Eckelbesh of the NACNW was delighted with the idea of more boots on the ground. “All of us believe that we have to support the police,” he said. “Without collaboration between businesses, individuals and the police, the island would fall apart,” Eckelbesh stated that his neighborhood watch would take care of the servicing of the Jeep to make sure it stays operational.

Click here to read the rest of the article in the San Pedro Sun

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