Today, the Jasmine Alert celebrated its sixth anniversary. The Jasmine Alert was launched in 2012, in memory of Jasmine Lowe who was murdered in the Cayo District. Her death made it clear that more measures needed to be put in place to protect our children. Love News attended the launch and spoke with Patrick Menzies, the National Executive Director of Jasmine Alert.
Patrick Menzies, National Executive Director, Jasmine Alert: “Today we’re recognizing the fact that we’ve been around for six years and we’re also talking about the different marriages that we’re having. We are having a marriage between the Jasmine Alert Program also the education sector whereby we now have folks from the schools on board. We’re having this marriage between our organization and 4 Life Belize which is where the finances are coming in from. So we want to talk a lot about that and we want to recognize that we are also having an agreement signed between us and BTL today the release of the new BTL number, Smart is also here and we have the police signing an MOA.”
Menzies said the purpose is to issue an alert in the case where a child has been abducted to ensure his or her safe return.
Patrick Menzies – National Executive Director, Jasmine Alert: “We focus mainly on the prevention of abduction or kidnapping, that is what we focus on, on the prevention and we work with the police the department on the cure, meaning that if a child is kidnapped or enticed we call this alert using BTL and SMART’s system and using the media and the transportation department and the like to be able to quickly alert the Belizean populace. There are four basic criteria, there is reasonable belief by law enforcement that an abduction or kidnapping has taken place. The law enforcement agency believes that the child is in imminent danger of serious bodily injury or death. Enough descriptive information of the victim and the abduction for law enforcement to issue an alert to assist the recovery or rescue of that child. The last criteria is the kidnapping is of a child that is seventeen or younger. So as long as it meets these criteria then we will call an alert.”
Love News also spoke with Marie Gomez, Senior Customer Service Manager at Smart, and Marconi Leal, the Deputy Chief of Sales and Marketing Manager at the Belize Telemedia Limited who said that their companies have been supporting the programme since its inception.
Marconi Leal – Deputy Chief of Sales & Marketing Manager, BTL
“This is just a gesture of giving back to the community. I think it’s a very important program for our community, it should be a community effort. We have to remember that today it’s your child tomorrow it might be mine and so everybody needs to get involved and so we are proud at smart to be a part of this effort. We provide the blast so if an alert comes out in a specific area of the country we send text messages to that specific area so that the people in that area become alert immediately and they can start to be on the lookout for a moving vehicle or the child that has been described in the incident.”
Marconi Leal, Deputy Chief of Sales and Marketing Manager -BTL: “The support that we provide to Jasmine Alert is in the form of free telecommunication services if it is that the need free mobile services or free internet services and we also provide a free toll free number where if you want to make an emergency call or make awareness to an abduction then you could call the number 610-LIVE (5483) and that is a free call from any Digicell or BTL number.”
Once again, BTL’s toll-free number is 610-LIVE while Smart’s toll-free number is 0-800-JASMINE. These numbers should be used to report an abduction.