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GOB Receives Donation of ICT Equipment from the US Government

Today, the Government of Belize received a donation of Information Communication Technology (ICT) equipment from the US Embassy. The equipment valued at over fifty thousand Belize Dollars was provided with funding from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) through its “Evidence-Based Information Management for Citizen Security in Central America and the Dominican Republic” program. U.S. Embassy Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL) Coordinator Mary Walz, explained how the donation was made possible and how it will help to strengthen citizen security in the country.

Mary Walz, U.S. Embassy Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL) Coordinator:This is part of an ongoing project called InfoSegura. It has been going on for over seven years where USAID through the US Embassy along with UNDP are putting together technical assistance primarily for the crime observatory. The materials provided today will, first of all we have some smaller handheld materials but they’re very strong and they’ll be used by the forensics people particularly at scenes of crimes to do investigation. They’ll input data and they’ll be able to share the data in real time with a number of agencies all of whom can accumulate and analyze that data. So it’s a very effective way of sharing information completely and quickly we’re very excited about that. The forensics organization is doing a wonderful job. In addition to that there is a server being provided for the police unit specifically who is putting together police data, again allowing multiple sharing across agencies, providing a broader base of data so that data can be analyzed and the analysis of that data will then inform public policy. It will also be information available to the general public so that people have transparency in their government. Lots of data, lots of sharing, lots of analysis and lost of transparency. In addition to that there are also some laptops or the DPP’s office, that’s the Director of Public Prosecutions something near and dear to my heart because I’m a lawyer by my other training, and they will be using that to do case management. So again we’re integrating information, the information gathered at the crime scene, the information gathered by the police, the prosecutors will then be using that data. They will also be able to share back out that data – again, available to the public we have transparency we can build then good public policy with lots of good information.”

The donation included a high-powered HP server, three HP workstations with high-quality monitors, and three rugged tablets. And, according to the Minister of Home Affairs & New Growth Industries Kareem Musa, the equipment will help his ministry’s fight against crime.

Kareem Musa, Minister of Home Affairs: “Well in our rapidly evolving world information and communications technology is king. We have to utilize greater assets like this donation that we received today under the InfoSegura project in order to gather data, in other to help us to predict crime. It certainly is a huge asset and of huge value moving forward in our fight against crime. And so we’re very grateful because these assets will be used like I said by the police department, by the National Forensic Service as you could see with the rugged laptops, rugged tablets these are all exceptional pieces of equipment, much needed pieces of equipment and cutting edge technology which that is the way of the future and so we’re very grateful for this donation today.”

Also present was UNDP Deputy Resident Representative Ian who applauded the government effort in addressing citizen security.