Our Community - Aaron Guzman - "Ambergris Caye's 'Top Cop'"

The Island Newspaper, Ambergris Caye, Belize            Vol. 13, No. 20            May 29, 2003

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Inspector Aaron Guzman

Tach and every one of us is capable of attaining our personal goals through perseverance, dedication and proper training. This week The San Pedro Sun is proud to feature one individual who has proven that he is an example to anyone who wants to fulfill their dreams through hard work, Inspector Aaron Guzman of the San Pedro Police Department.

    Aaron Guzman was born the fifth of eight children in Silk Grass Village, on February 18th, 1969. His mother, Gilda Guzman, stayed at home to care for their six sons and two daughters. His father, Ramon Guzman, was a citrus farmer who also replanted trees for the Belize Forest Department.

    At the tender age of four years old, Aaron started school at Silk Grass Methodist Elementary School. During the next eight years, he not only gained knowledge, he became a member of the Boy Scouts where he learned "to always be prepared." Unfortunately, Aaron was not able to continue his education at that time; the only high school was far away in Dangriga. Additional financial constraints prevented the family from supporting his room and board to attend classes in another town.

    Therefore, once Aaron graduated from primary school, he enrolled at the International Correspondence School (ICS) and earned a degree as an auto/diesel mechanic. At the same time, his father's friend allowed him to gain practical training by working in his mechanic's shop.

    The following February, Aaron decided that being a mechanic did not suit him. Immediately after his 17th birthday, he submitted his application to the Belize Police Department, and the next months became a blur. Aaron took his police eligibility exam a month later, and after another two months found himself at the Police Training School, in Belmopan. There, his instructors taught him basic police skills, criminal law, first aid, and firearm training, among other subjects. While at the police academy, Aaron demonstrated his potential to his superiors by winning the Physical Fitness Award, and also the Baton of Honor, for being ranked in the top five of the overall best recruits.

    In September 1986, Aaron received his first assignment, to the Punta Gorda Police Department. In his off-duty time, he also played football for Jacinto Ville United, as a defender for inter-district tournaments. Three years later, Aaron was transferred to Belmopan, and this city proved to be full of new experiences. His first post was as a chaffer and bodyguard for Her Excellency Dame Minita Gordon, who was Belize's Governor General at that time. A year later, he was transferred to the Serious Crimes Branch (Drug Unit) for the Belize Police Department. By 1992, Aaron felt he had the necessary experience to obtain a promotion, so he took the Corporal's exam and passed. Following this achievement, Aaron obtained a wide variety of high-level training from the United States (US) Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA), the US Navy Seals and the US Special Forces. He remained with the Drug Unit for another three years before being transferred to the Belmopan Police Department. During this extremely busy time in his life, Aaron also found time for love and married Michelle Boden. However, Aaron's post at the police department was to be short-lived, and two months later he was transferred again. Aaron found himself once again at the Police Training School, where he remained for the next three years, this time as an instructor instead of a student.

    After two years as a lecturer, Aaron was ready to attempt another promotion, so in 1997, he sat the exam and received his promotion as Sergeant. In 1998, he returned to the Belmopan Police Department and earned yet another increase in his rank, this time as Assistant Inspector. Since no positions were available at the time, Aaron was forced to wait a year. During this time, he worked as the support officer for the head of the National Crimes Investigation Branch and was finally advanced to Assistant Inspector of the Belmopan Police Department in 2000. During this time, the ever-ambitious Aaron Guzman also traveled as a Police Prosecutor to beautiful destinations such as Barbados and Costa Rica. The Department also sent him to Honduras where he received United Nations (UN) peacekeeping and civil police training. In August 2002, Aaron fully achieved the rank of Inspector.

    September 1st, 2002 marked the day when Inspector Guzman arrived on the sandy shores of San Pedro and Caye Caulker to assume responsibility for these two communities. While his Sergeants manage the day-to-day operations in both police station locations, the Inspector functions as the administrative officer-in-charge. He implements policing policies and advises the Government of Belize on the state of affairs on the cayes. Inspector Guzman says he "greatly appreciates the support given to the police department by San Pedro's friendly community" and is happy that the vast majority of the population is law-abiding.

    Now that Inspector Guzman is settled in San Pedro he has a "little" more time to relax. When it strikes him, he likes to "plop" his fishing rod into the shimmering blue sea waters in the hopes of catching a few fish. This, the Inspector says is, "another reason I love San Pedro."  Inspector Guzman is also a loyal supporter of the local semi-professional football team, the San Pedro SeaHawks. Watching live football is not his only pastime, as he can be found watching American football on  television as well. Inspector Guzman states that once he buys a piece of land, he may well be found planting flowers, along with all the other "green-thumbs" on the island.

    Inspector Aaron Guzman is happy with the small town he now calls home, but hopes that "folks will continue working hard, and not to fall into the trend I have seen lately where some people who are able to work to achieve anything they desire, instead beg visitors, or wait to have things handed to them." This is one police officer that supports the "lawful" members of Our Community.

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