Government Orders Review of Security Protocols at Public Health Facilities After Hospital Incident

Government Orders Review of Security Protocols at Public Health Facilities After Hospital Incident

The Ministries of Health and Wellness and Home Affairs have been tasked to assess security protocols at all public health facilities following the frightening ordeal that shook the medical community. On June 1, police say associates of deceased gang figure, David Galindo, stormed the San Ignacio Community Hospital and began threatening staff. The men reportedly forced their way into the hospital’s trauma room while Galindo was being treated for gunshot wounds and terrorized the medical professionals. The incident was not reported until this week, sparking outrage among the public. Today, ten days later, the Cabinet issued a release on the incident and stated that decisive action had been taken. The government has ordered an internal assessment of the police command in Cayo to make necessary changes to return the community’s sense of security. Today, those efforts commenced with the Commissioner of Police Chester Williams and other high-ranking officers meeting with the hospital’s staff. 

Chester Williams, Commissioner of Police: “I was the one who suggested that we have a meeting and have arranged a meeting with the authorities from the San Ignacio Community Hospital. So I will be meeting with them this afternoon at 2 in San Ignacio. And again the purpose is for us to be able to look at what their concerns are and to see what protocol we can develop moving forward to ensure there is no recurrence of what actually took place on June 1st. So I agree with everything said in terms of the way how things unfolded, it ought not to have. The best we can do now is to make sure that we put things in place to avert any future recurrence. It’s a regrettable issue. We wish it did not occur but again the reason why the police did not respond when they were called was because it was a busy night in San Ignacio. The police had other complaints that they were dealing with and so they could not have responded on time as the hospital would have requested. And I do agree with the hospital and I agree with the police as well. I have to strike a balance but we have to find a solution moving forward to make sure that should there be any recurrence that what took place or the sequence of event that took place on that night in question do not reoccur. The police were at a stabbing, they had I think a burglary and there was another issue at a village. The police only had one vehicle that night that they could have utilized and so that was an issue. As I said this morning that the police in San Ignacio do have a mobility issue. Two of our vehicles are down due to the fact that we cannot source parts from the local dealers in Belize and so we’re trying to see how we can get those vehicles up and running so that the police will be able to have their full fleet of mobiles available to be able to respond to the calls of the public.”

Williams added that since the incident, police have gathered sufficient evidence to charge the perpetrators for multiple offenses. 

Chester Williams, Commissioner of Police: “I don’t know if from everyone but I know for a fact that police have taken a number of statements. They have processed the scene, gathered the evidence including video footage, those have been viewed and it was based on the guidance of those video footage that we were able to identify the perpetrators. And so I believe that we have what we need to be able to prosecute those persons who are responsible. One has been charged and we’re still searching for the other one. We’re hoping that he will be coming out of where he is hiding very soon and we’ll be able to take him into custody and address that matter wit him. I think it’s damage to property and disorderly behavior.”

Reporter: What about threat to life ? 

Chester Williams, Commissioner of Police: “I’ll be in San Ignacio today I’ll review the statement from the doctor and then if there is elements of any other offense committed then certainly we’ll proceed with that as well.”

Williams also spoke on the need for the hospital’s security to improve their working relationship with the police.

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