Over four hundred students graduate from Police Department’s GREAT program

By
Updated: June 30, 2015

The Gang Resistance Educational and Training, GREAT Program, has been targeting schools kids to stay away from gang activities and focus on their education. The program has been impacting the lives of thousands of students across the country and today, 464 students from eight primary schools in Belize City were recognized for successfully completing the program. Officer In Charge of Community Police for the Eastern Division, Sergeant Elroy Carcamo, shared more.

Sgt. Elroy Carcamo – Officer in Charge, Community Police

“We have seen an overwhelming welcome with the program, the program itself when we started out had only eight police officers who participated in the training. Over the years we have grown to see that we have ninety four certified police officers, have went through the training and have facilitated the program across the country. Also from since the inception to now over eight thousand students have went through the program itself. We have students that have gone through the program and are being recognized by the Police Department in other programs and things like that.

Hipolito Novelo, Love News

How are you able to identify the students and the schools?

Sgt. Elroy Carcamo – Officer in Charge, Community Police

“Basically when we started out as a pilot project, we got schools from the Southside and one from the north side to see how to balance off but over the years it is the schools that are requesting for the program to be done. So once the school requests and we have the police resource available then we participate and we get the police to do it, facilitate the program.”

Hipolito Novelo, Love News

Do you believe that the classrooms sessions that the students are involved in are enough.

Sgt. Elroy Carcamo – Officer in Charge, Community Police

“The sessions that are being given out are very much helping the students helping the the schools. There’s lot more that needs to be done and that will be done because we are going to venture into our family component and we need to know that not only because we do it in the schools that it will help because these students when they come out of the schools they go back into the community. So we are going to start our family component in January and it is good because it is being funded by the Government of Belize, Caribbean Development Bank through a process that is called the Youth and Community Transformation project for the Southside of Belize City so it will be the first great families that we will have in country.

Hipolito Novelo, Love News

Where do you see the program in the next five or ten years?

Sgt. Elroy Carcamo – Officer in Charge, Community Police

“I can see great accomplishments for the program in the next five or ten years in fact presently right now what we are trying to do is in fact do an assessment of the program and where our youths are. I can safely say that there are a lot of youths that went through the program that are doing well right now. Some of them have finished high school and have gone into the tertiary level. We are seeing more officers being trained and also presently what we have is officers who are being trained to train the police officers so we have our own local police officer who will be training policemen in the country. “

The program has the support of the US Embassy in Belize.