Fifty women and one hundred and sixteen men officially became members of the Belize Police Department today under squad number ninety three. The passing out ceremony for these officers took place at the Police Training Academy in Belmopan this morning with the presence of senior police officers from around the country as well as relatives and friends of the graduates. The event began just after ten o’clock with the arrival of the Commissioner of Police, Allen Whylie and the Minister of Home Affairs, Godwin Hulse. According to Commissioner Whylie, it is a large intake and the training has been rigorous.
“I’m always energized when I see new officers passing out who are prepared to put their lives on the line for their country. Yes this was one of the bigger squads and the training was intense as indeed the Minister spoke on the English language and we had a few people who didn’t do as well on the English and so we’ve identified those officers and the commandant will be putting together a remedial training program for those officers to improve their standard of English. It’s important to use because people need to record statements, they need to conduct interviews and they need to be more comfortable with the use of the English language.”
Addressing the gathering was Minister Hulse who spoke on corruption in the department as he appealed to the new officers to maintain their dignity in standing up for what is right in the eyes of the law even if it means bringing him to task.
“I challenge any and every officer on this podium and any officer in this nation; If I ever call you or give you any instructions to discontinue your pursuit of investigations in any matter or to take you away from your course of legal action take out your phone, record me and pass that recording onto any media house any time. I also challenge you that if anybody else does it, do the same. This minister has never, will never or ever interfere in the pursuit of justice to thwart it so let there be no doubt that as long as I am the Minister of Home Affairs the police will continue with dignity and respect and this department will be returned to the proud days when the officer is known as a peace officer and a companion of the citizens of Belize. Standing there in your uniforms so very proud and dignified as I inspected I am proud of the 50 women and the 116 men, let that reign right through your career. I want to thank all the parents, spouses, family and friends and all those who supported you during the last 16 weeks and helped to make you recruits so prepared for today’s passing out. I want to congratulate lastly the graduates themselves, you all did exceptionally well, all making Belize proud coming from every quarter of this nation, you stand there dignified, you stand there proud.”
Ten of the one hundred and sixty six graduates were especially recognized for being the top performers in several categories in consistency, the written examination, shooting qualifications, physical education, human rights and first aid. The most outstanding performer among the graduates was Recruit Police Constable Number two-two-five-one, Darwin McFadzean who received the Baton of Honour and an award for the second written examination. The new officers will be placed strategically around the country with majority of them coming to Belize City.