Commissioner Westby visits San Pedro

The Island Newspaper, Ambergris Caye, Belize            Vol. 15, No. 45            November 17, 2005

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Commissioner Westby is proud to say, “Crime is down in San Pedro”. As part of his bi-annual nationwide tour of Belize, Police Commissioner Gerald Westby held a town-meeting Friday night at the Lions Den in San Pedro. Commissioner Westby proudly announced that since he made changes in the San Pedro Police Corp two months ago, crime has decreased significantly on “La Isla Bonita.”

   Throughout the night, Westby pointed to achievements in San Pedro that he credited for the reduction in crime. He said the Special Constable Program has been very successful. San Pedro was the first town in Belize to instigate the program. He said the transfer of Inspector Juachim Sabal and Sergeant Dennis Myles to the San Pedro Police Department has provided quality leadership. Westby also acknowledged Sergeant McDougal for being recognized by the United States Secretary of State for his role in helping arrest fugitives.

   Miss Chris Garcia, from the Rotary Club of Belize was also on hand to give a presentation on the Crime Stoppers Program. She noted that the arrest of those who allegedly committed the Fido’s Security Guard murder was the result of a tip called-in using the Crime Stoppers program. Garcia noted that those who call and report crime on Crime-Stoppers never seek their reward, which can be up to a $1,000. “Many call just to be good citizens and help fight crime.” Garcia re-iterated the fact that the Crime Stoppers hotline is a line answered in the United States of America, this in turn guarantees complete anonymity.

   Commissioner Westby also mentioned other programs in Belize including COPS – Citizens on Patrol and said Orange Walk has successfully used that program as a tool against crime.

   Westby told about the Police Explorer Program, which introduces high school students to the police force. “You don’t want our youth to think that the only time they can talk to a police officer is when they are in trouble,” stressed Westby.

   The San Pedro Youth Cadet Corp also provided some entertainment. They performed three “skits” that demonstrated how to fight crime.

   During the question and answer period, a local resident asked the Mayor to explain why she dismissed charges filed against those who were caught in a traffic stop operation. Belize Police Public Relations Officer G. Michael Reid said the question, “sounds too political, and this is not the forum for that type of question.”

   Mayor Paz did commend the San Pedro Police force for their good work and thanked Commissioner Westby and his guests for visiting with the citizens of San Pedro.
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