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175 police officers are awarded for their outstanding performance on the job

In our newscast, we often report on instances where police officers are caught in the wrong and later penalized. But, tonight, we cover an occasion where almost 200 officers of the Belize Police Department are celebrated for their outstanding service. Reporter Vejea Alvarez tells us more.

Vejea Alvarez, Love FM News: 175 police officers were awarded this morning at the Police Training Academy in Belmopan for their outstanding performance and their continued motivation to serve and protect. Cops received medals for various accomplishments such as “Long Service,” “1st Clasps,” “2nd Clasps,” “Distinguished Service,” and “Meritus Service.” It’s a move that the Commissioner of Police Chester Williams says the officers welcomed openly. 

Chester Williams, Commissioner, Belize Police Department: “It serves as a boost of morale for officers. I think this is something that officers do look forward to and in the planning stage, we had a number of officers who had called and said, “My name is omitted.” and these sorts of things. So it means that officers do look forward to it and we made sure that we did the due diligence that we award those who are entitled. Again there’s a lot to be done to make sure that the officer meets the requirements of the award and so I want to thank the committee led by Mrs. Magdaleno and Superintendent Jones for the exemplary work they did in making sure that those who were to be awarded were awarded.”

Vejea Alvarez, Love FM News: Outstanding citizen awards were also given to six Belizeans who have been making meaningful contributions to their communities. 

Chester Williams, Commissioner, Belize Police Department: “These are persons from within the community and some from within the justice system who have taken time out of their schedule to work with the police in terms of training and these sorts of things. And so it’s just a way to give recognition to people who have served with us in whatever way as well as police officers who are out there on a daily basis and have served a certain number of years with distinction.”

Vejea Alvarez, Love FM News: Minister of Home Affairs Kareem Musa expressed his gratitude to the awardees for the exemplary service and commitment to upholding the laws of the land. 

Kareem Musa, Minister of Home Affairs: “I am reminded that bravery is not an absence of fear but rather action in the face of fear. Today I join your family members, your colleagues, other distinguished guests, the Government of Belize in acknowledging your unrelenting service, your selflessness, your bravery in service to our nation and the people of Belize.”

Vejea Alvarez, Love FM News: And while these officers were able to be recognized for their hard work, others, unfortunately, did not have that opportunity which led the Force to share a moment of silence for their fallen colleagues. 

Chester Williams, Commissioner, Belize Police Department: “Certainly it’s a time for us to also recognise and give thanks to those fallen officers. Certainly their service did count prior to their passing and it was only fitting that we took a moment of silence in their honour, as well as in honour of The Queen who passed away last week and I’d like to take the opportunity to thank the families of those fallen officers for having loaned them to us during the time that they were with us and for the exemplary work that they did and certainly, yes, Mr. Jemoth, had he been alive, he would have been one of the awardees as well today.”

Vejea Alvarez, Love FM News: Six of today’s awardees who hold the ranks of Superintendent to above received distinguished medals for their excellent service and being free of any disciplinary infractions during their time. Vejea Alvarez, Love News.