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15 police officers awarded for bravery in line of duty

It was all good and positive news from the police today as they inaugurated a much needed police booth in the Port Loyola Area in Belize City and, in a separate event, the high command recognized the outstanding work of police officers. The police booth, located along Central American Boulevard is a twelve by fourteen feet building, fully equipped with a restroom. The booth was donated by the Young family, who own a business in the area. Commissioner of Police, Chester Williams, and the family designed the structure to fit the needs of the officers stationed in the area.

Commissioner of Police Chester Williams: “I helped in the design in terms of what the booth must look like and what it must contain. We want to be able to have something that will make the officers feel comfortable. The cameras that are fixed to the booth outside were placed there so that if the officers are inside the booth, maybe it is raining or something they can sit inside the booth and still be able to see outside by way of the camera and the other features. We ensured that glass was around  the building again so that we can give them a view outside and that was done. Yes another doner has promised to give another one. I have received the plan for that one. I will give the plan to the other donor and he is going to finance the construction of another one in the Backatown area.”

Emil Young Young Family Rep: “This is the end result of all our collaborative efforts. We would like to thank all who made it possible and who donated to this booth. Namely Weigh Printing, Four Way Stationary, the Young family and Mark Lee which is the in laws. Everyone put a hand in to do this booth. It was done by the family you could say. This kind gesture was done with soul purpose of enhancing public safety in the Port Loyola area having Police presence at all times.”

Regional Commander Alden Dawson said during his address at the event that the addition of a rest room facilitates more effective policing in the area as officers will no longer need to leave their post for breaks at nearby police stations. Immediately following that event, the Belize Police Department recognized officers who have displayed bravery and outstanding work in the line of duty. The officers were part of the teams that successfully apprehended the border bandits at the Santa Elena Border in northern Belize; the k-9 Unit that successfully tackled a case in Hopkins Village and the officer who single handedly apprehended criminals in one of the recent incidents in Punta Gorda Town. Dalila Ical has more on this story.

Dalila Ical: “ It was a significant day for the department and was attended by Minister of National Security John Saldivar and Commissioner of Police Chester Williams. They say the exemplary performance of the officers helps to road the heavily tainted image of the department.”

John Saldivar Minister of National Security: “Certainly we would want that image to change and for the public to have a more positive image of the Police Department. There were incidents were Police officers acted outside their mandate but I don’t believe that is the general behavior of the Police so I am happy when we have occasions like these to accentuate the many positives that are happening in our department.”

Commissioner of Police Chester Williams: “ And again I want to take the opportunity to publicly salute these officers for their bravery and heroism in the execution of their duties and you know as much as the public may criticize the Police on a daily basis, the public does recognize and appreciate good Police work and if you go on social media recently you would see that the comments that are being sent towards the Police in terms of the performance of the officers in respect to different incidents across the country you can see that the mode is changing in terms of  what is being said. Yes there is still some negativity but the negativity is being reduced.”

Dalila Ical: “Among those awarded was Sergeant Mark Martinez attached to the Gang Suppression Unit. He was a part of the team that brought down the border bandits in Corozal last week.”

Saregent Mark Martinez GSU: “ It is a good feeling due to training and years in the service. I have obtained a lot of skills and it is just a day to day work and for the officers that went there and performed their duties. I believe they performed to the best of their ability as professionals and like I said I rightfully thank them for the job well done on that.”

Dalila Ical: “Police Constable William Sanchez attached to the K9 Unit was part of the team who also apprehended criminals following an incident in Hopkins Village.

Police Constable William Sanchez: “The motivation behind it is very easy: keep this country as safe as it possibly can be, first my children, your children and every other Belizean or visitor to this nation. It was not an easy task but it was something that you are already accustomed to doing. Each task comes with its own challenges and fortunately we overcame the challenges that was there and we came out on top.”

Dalila Ical: Off notice Martinez had recently received recognition from the Department for his exemplary performance in the line of duty. Dalila Ical Love News

The officers received a certificate of recognition and a cash reward.