Belize Police Certify Dozens of Cops in Defensive Tactics to Reduce Harm to Civilians
The Belize Police Department hopes to see a decrease in civilians being harmed by police after certifying three dozen cops in defensive tactics. Today, the department and US Embassy Belmopan held a graduation ceremony for a six-week Instructor Development Course (IDC) and a two-week defensive tactics training. The train-the-trainer courses were designed to enhance the capacity of BPD Training Officers as defensive tactics instructors. Commissioner of Police, Chester Williams, explained that the purpose was to ensure his officers are better trained to interact with the public.
Chester Williams, Commissioner of Police: “You would know oftentimes there have been information in the media of police using improper methods in terms of how they detain and deal with suspects and so what the defensive tactic did was to train police officers in different means or different methods by which they can use to detain persons without causing injuries or harm to them. And so we are grateful for that. What will be done herein after is that the trainers will now develop their respective training package and they would train the other officers in the areas where they are from and then in respect to the Instructors’ Development Course we do have a number of regional and lead training offices across the country so they have now been taught in terms of pedagogical skills which will help to enhance the way how they develop their courses and that will help to see how we can improve what we do as a department. One of the mantras for people out there is that the police need more training and with this we will be able to train more and more police officers because the trainers will also go back to their respective area and train police officers in very key subject areas that we know training is lacking all with a view to ensure that develop our officers. We have always been talking about transformation, the transformation is taking place. I know that many times we do a number of good trainings but it is not placed in the public domain that the public knows that we are doing these trainings and so I am happy that the media is here to witness what is taking place and I would hope that it will be given some level of priority in the newscast tonight so that the people can see that the Police Department is serious about transformation and is serious about training our officers to meet the demands of the citizens out there where citizen security is concerned. I am confident that the officers will utilize whatever they have been taught here in real life situations with a view to ensure that the method or the manner by which we do things and how we treat the public is altered for the better and for the greater good.”
US Ambassador Michelle Kwan explained that the training was supported by the US Department’s International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL). She also added that the US-funded initiative was centered on improving the country’s overall citizen security.
Michelle Kwan, U.S. Ambassador to Belize: “Citizen security is a major priority for the US embassy and so to have the Denver Police Department as well as ICITAP here to help facilitate this training is very powerful. So now as you heard from the remarks that these trained police officers can instill the knowledge, the experience and tools that they need to help deescalate some of the tough situations that they’re in because let’s be real police officers as I said in my remarks are human beings but when they have the tools that they need to be able to handle different situations they will be able to revert back to the knowledge and experiences that they learned in these courses.”
A total of thirty-six officers graduated from the courses and are now tasked to instill the knowledge they received in their colleagues.