ASP Michael Gutierrez returns from training course

Assistant Inspector of Police Michael Gutierrez

Assistant Inspector of Police (ASP) Michael Gutierrez, the head officer of the San Pedro Police Department, attended a Junior Command Course at the Jamaica Constabulary Staff College in Twinkenham Park, Spanish Town, Jamaica, from October 6th to December 13th, 1997.

The following is ASP Gutierrez' overview of the course, his experiences and the regulations he will continue to uphold now that he has returned to his post.

"The aim of the course was to develop potential for higher responsibility by enabling the participants of the course to improve their professional knowledge and skill. Also to broaden their outlook and increase one's understanding of the community in which we serve and protect. I feel that this course has enabled me to become better equipped to face the challenges and opportunities of a rapidly changing society.

The course syllabus was divided into four specific modules. The first of which was foundation studies. Foundation studies entail speed reading, preparation of written work, public speaking and the responsibilities and duties of a manager. The second was academic studies which entail West Indies history and sociology. Sociology was used to assist the students in the mind broadening process and to emphasize the importance of the individual outside and within the organization.

Management studies was third. We were sensitized in management studies with specific emphasis on motivation, morals, communication, leadership, problem solving, discipline, personnel assessment and chairmanship skills.

The fourth was professional studies. We were taught to relate both the management and academic input to policing problems as demonstrated when we apply the theory in operational situations - crime, traffic, and general policing duties.

Every effort was made to draw the 4 themes together at a professional stage by using simulated exercises, discussions and forums to get input from participants. Generally I believe this course has enhanced my sensitivity to the social, political and economical environment in which I am to function as a police officer.

There were 24 participants in this course. 11 were foreign students and only one person represented Belize, which was me. This was my fourth visit to Jamaica and I was able to see more of the country on this trip. I must say I endeavored my best to promote Belize's tourism, especially in San Pedro. I was a good ambassador to the country on a whole.

These courses are incentives and are considered when an officer is being assessed for advancement. A course is only one of the elements that are taken into consideration. Participants of the courses were graded and assessed. We have not yet received our reports but before we left we were informed of our performance. I can say that the course was very good, I did very good.

The San Pedro Police would like to say that we are determined to continue with our action plan where the combat of crime and interdiction of drug traffickers is of paramount importance. Foot and mobile patrol over the Christmas and New Year Holiday will continue and will be increased. We hope to have a high visibility of uniformed police officers on the streets and continue on a high prevention mode. Also foot and mobile patrols will be augmented by maritime patrols. We will visit the resorts that are on the outskirts of town.

Zero tolerance remains enforced where the attitude, behavior and activities of the police attached to this community are considered. We will begin to have in house academic training for our officers, through giving each individual the responsibility to research a project and to conduct a tutorial using other members of staff as their students.

With the advent of the New Year we pledge to enhance our delivery of quality service and we would like to publicly thank citizens of San Pedro who in any way, shape or form assisted the police in the execution of their duties in 1997. I would like to give special thanks to Tropic Air, Ramon's Village and the San Pedro Sun. We consequently are appealing for continued support and cooperation from the community of San Pedro. Best wishes for the New Year."

ASP Michael Gutierrez returns from training course

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San Pedro Town, Ambergris Caye, Belize News