In observation of Police Week the San Pedro Police Department held an Open Day on Wednesday, October 29th, 1997.
Visitors were welcomed to the Station by PC Joseph Usher and Sergeant Melbourne Alvarez, the officers on duty. During the course of the day, they gave tours of the Police Station and were able to view displays prepared especially for the day. Displays consisted of illegal drugs such as cannabis (marijuana) and crack cocaine; scales used to measure drug quantities and marijuana and cocaine testers. According to PC Usher, when a person is found with a suspected illegal drug the police must measure the substance and a sample must be taken to Belize City where proper testing must be done to confirm exactly what the substance is.
Also on display were a crack pipe and a marijuana cigarette. PC Usher explained that although people are very resourceful and may construct a "home made" pipe to smoke crack there is actually an instrument developed only for that specific purpose. The pipe is no larger than three inches, made from thick metal and is covered with a layer of rubber, to prevent the user being burned.
Weapons were exhibited such as firearms: a pistol, revolver and rifle along with ammunition and a police baton. A finger printing kit and gloves used by officers at the scene of a crime or to handle evidence were on display. PC Usher and Sergeant Alvarez demonstrated how to use the radios they communicate with and explained that they used a special frequency, not easily located, to ensure that there are no unwanted listeners. A mug shot album was also on display containing photographs of people arrested at the department.
PC Usher explained the different paper work that must be done on a daily basis and in cases of reports and arrests made. Police officers at the department are responsible for recording every activity that takes place during the day. If the officers use one of the vehicles to carry out a search that must be recorded, who is on duty and for how long must also be reported and so on. Special books are used for recording police activities such as the report diary in which reports, information used for further reference, arrests and case follow-ups are recorded.
The arresting and booking process was also demonstrated. PC Usher recited the caution and rights said to a person upon their arrest or at the time they are formally charged. The evidence room was pointed out but no tour was given. The tour of the station concluded at the cell block, which consists of two cells sealed by iron gates. (No windows, no beds, not a nice place to be.)
Thank you from Sergeant Melbourne Alvarez
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