Community policing is one of the strategies that the Belize Police Department is looking to reinforce. The Department is adamant in getting the officers to build ties and working closely with members of the community. The Commissioner of police, Chester Williams spoke to the importance of this initiative.
Chester Williams, Commissioner of Police: There are number of neighborhood watch groups across this country and I am proud to say that the Minister’s constituency in Caribbean Shores have about three vibrant neighborhood watch groups and we want to see how we can replicate those across the country because if we do that, if you have the public being your eyes and ears out there there’s a lot to be garnered for us as police officers. And so every police officer must always have in the back of his or her mind that they are a community oriented police, it cannot be that because you work at a certain unit you believe that you must not do community policing because each and every one of us represent the department and we must represent what the mission or the mantra of the department is and so that is where we will be going. We have a number of programs that we currently do and we have a Mr.Nuri Muhammad on board who is our conflict officer; he works with the youths on the streets mentoring them, providing intervention for them, mediation with them along with CYDP. What people don’t know about this program is that it is also the program that we have in place as an intermediary between the gang members and the employers for example Stake Bank. You would all know that the Stake Bank project is a very huge project and a number of persons are being employed so we have an agreement with Mr. Feinstein who is the owner of Stake Bank that once we have these young people who have gone through the training and are demonstrating that they want to make a difference in their life and want to be gainfully employed that he will take them on at Stake Bank to be employed and we currently have a number of them employed at Stake Bank and I just got information today from Brother Nuri that another fifteen more of these young people will be employed again at Stake Bank and as the project progresses more and more will be taken on. We believe that if we continue to do projects like these it will help us significantly with a view to ensure that we take the youth from the violent life on the street and put them to be gainfully employed and then that will help them to be able to stabilize their lives.”