Being a police officer is no easy task. Not only do officers put their life on the line, but they work all hours and sometimes they are stationed far from home. Today, for many of those officers, they received much deserved recognition. At the police training academy in Belmopan, officers received their long service medals for 18, 25, and 30 years on the force. The Meritorious Service Awards as well as the Distinguished Service Awards were also given out. Assistant Commissioner of Police, Dezerie Magdaleno, told us just how important it is to recognize officers who have been putting in the effort, and why they chose to use the award ceremony to double as a recognition for those who performed will in the recent police examination.
Dezerie Magdaleno – Assistant Commissioner of Police: “It is very important, as you know one strives for the greatest performance you can offer at any given point in time. When you are able to endure and remain in service for this long period of time it is only deserving and worthy for you to be recognized. We ensure that whenever we celebrate police week the Medallion Award Ceremony happens to be one of the major highlights of the police week. In the wisdom of the Commissioner he felt it very important, something that we likewise support because these officers were very outstanding in the written examination so we felt it just right in the spirit of celebration in police week, we felt it the correct moment to have them also be recognized because they may be officers who may not necessarily have gotten the eighteen years, twenty-five years or thirty years but they are also worthy of recognition for topping this promotional exam that we had on the 4th of May so it is a very good thing and I join them in their celebration today.”
Gerald Jones – Assistant Superintendent of Police: “Today I am proud to have received the Meritorious Service Medal. This is a medal that is bestowed on officers who have rendered twenty years and over within the department and have provided some form of special skills to the department, have maintained consistency in terms of the working performance, dedication, and commitment. It is something quite rewarding because I was a member from the Police Youth Cadet Corps in 1994, rose through the ranks within the Police Department and it is a bit emotional for me today because I know that we have fought a lot and went through a lot when it comes to policing work. It is not an easy task but only those who are strong will be able to survive and yes on the 30th of May I completed twenty years.”
140 officers in all were awarded at today’s ceremony. Love News also got the chance to speak with Sergeant Leroy Hernandez, who placed first in the exam.
SGT. Leroy Hernandez – First Place Police Exam: “It is gratifying and I am very humbled by the recognition that was given to me, I enjoyed today. To tell you the truth from the instant that you join the department, nineteen years ago, that is where the preparation begins. An always ever learning process, you never stop learning on this job and that is what is gratifying about it.”
Sergeant Hernandez has been in the service for 19 years and is currently working in the Professional Standards Branch and is expecting a transfer next week. ////////