Our Community - Michael Gutierrez - "MVP of San Pedro's Crime Prevention Team"

The Island Newspaper, Ambergris Caye, Belize            Vol. 10, No. 16            April 20, 2000

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ASP Michael Gutierrez

Wouldn't it be great if we all lived in a place like Shangrila, where everything is peaceful and perfect? Though not in this imaginary place, we are fortunate to live in San Pedro which has been described as a piece of paradise. Unfortunately San Pedro Town, like the rest of the world, is not exempt from crime, although we are lucky that its rate is limited. Much credit should be given to the San Pedro Police Department which has managed to maintain this low crime-rate in La Isla Bonita. The person responsible for the overall supervision of these hard working men and women is Assistant Superintendent of Police Michael Gutierrez.   

    Michael Gutierrez was born in Dangriga Town and attended Holy Ghost Primary School and Stann Creek Ecumenical High School. He successfully passed five subject exams from the University of Cambridge and was accepted for a tertiary level program at St. John's College in Belize City. Because of financial limitations though, he was unable to further his education. After many conversations with a close friend of his, he opted to travel to Orange Walk where he became a teacher for the San Estevan Roman Catholic School. Shortly after, he decided to return to Dangriga where he eventually interviewed to become a police officer and was accepted. On November 12th, 1976 he commenced training at the Police Training School in Ladyville. Upon completion of the required training he was posted to the Patrol Branch in Belize City where he remained until February 1978. He was then transferred to Corozal Town where he did some investigative work and was involved in the resolution of several major cases. Subsequently he was posted to the Santa Elena Border Station performing immigration duties.

    In 1980, PC Gutierrez resigned from the force to become an accounts clerk at the Tower Hill Sugar Factory. Even after his resignation, policing remained in Gutierrez's heart, having spent most of his youth in this profession. He would frequent the Orange Walk and Corozal Police Stations where he had made very good friends. He ate, drank and slept police work and finally became disenchanted with his job at the Sugar Factory.

    In 1981, he re-enlisted in the department and was once again posted in Corozal Town. As time went on he completed an evaluation course in Belmopan and did exceptionally well. Consequently he was assigned to the Special Unit Branch where he remained until 1997. During this time in 1983, he sat the promotional exam for Corporal, was ranked first in the entire country and was promoted to Corporal in 1985. His loyalty to the force and exceptional work soon earned him additional promotions: to Sergeant in 1989; to Assistant Inspector in 1993; to Inspector in 1994 and to Assistant Superintendent of Police in 1996. One year later, he was posted to the Ministry of National Security as Police Advisor to the Ministry. Later that same year, he was transferred to San Pedro as Officer-in-Charge where he remained until 1998. During his time in San Pedro, ASP Gutierrez was instrumental in reducing the crime on the island to a maximum low. Unfortunately for San Pedro he was transferred to Belize City and then to Corozal as Second Officer-in-Charge of the Corozal District. In November of 1999, he was posted to the Intermediate Southern Formation Headquarters in Independence as the Commanding Officer-in-Charge. Throughout, he has done extensive training in police operations and administration in the United States, United Kingdom and the Caribbean.

    In December of 1999, the Commissioner of Police gave ASP Gutierrez the option to return to San Pedro. This offer was a request from the community and, after checking on the situation of the town, he decided to accept the offer. ASP Gutierrez told the San Pedro Sun, "Policing and law enforcement runs in my veins since I have two older brothers who were also police officers. I have always dreamt of being a Police Officer and eventually a Senior Officer. My advice to the young people of this town is to strive for what they want and to work extremely hard towards the attainment of that goal or objective. I must say that I welcomed the opportunity to be able to come back to this community and provide the best of service where policing is concerned. It gives me the chance to reunite with my old acquaintances and make new friends.

    ASP Gutierrez believes in the principle that whatever you put yourself into doing must always be done to the best of your ability without fear or favor. What makes him a unique person as well as a unique Officer is his pleasant personality and public relations skills. He has been impartial during his service and advocates that by hard work and dedication one can achieve his/her goals despite detractions. ASP Gutierrez has dedicated over 23 years of his life to public service and stands firm in his commitment to protect, serve and ensure the safety of "Our Community."

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