The residents of Guinea Grass Village in Orange Walk now have a police substation in their area. The station was opened on Friday, and will see two officers manning it. Prior to this, the closest police station was in Orange Walk Town, which is roughly fifteen minutes away by car. According to the Commissioner of Police, Chester Williams, the practice of having at least two officers will now happen at every sub-station. Additionally, the Minister of State in the Ministry of National Security, Elodio Aragon, stated that soon Carmelita Village will have one of their own.
Chester Williams, Commissioner of Police: “To be without a police for a number of months was truly inconvenient to the villagers as they had to go to Orange Walk Town to lodge their complaints but now with the refurbished police station every service that the police offer here are now available within the Guinea Grass Village, there is no need for them to go to Orange Walk anymore, we have the SIMS system and everything so the station is self sustained. In terms of the village, again we are moving away from one man station, we believe that having one police officer at any police station is not conducive to the officer’s health and safety and so we are now having a minimum of two police stationed at every substation across the country.”
Elodio Aragon, Minister of State, Ministry of National Security: “Guinea Grass being one of the village, I think the biggest village in the south, definitely needed this police station to be renovated and equipped with two police officers to man the community in terms of being out here to be able to be of assistance if anything arises and I think it is very important because a community as large as this one requires the security forces to be readily available so I feel very good about that. I know that this station has been closed for a while because of the ongoing renovations and of course you know it all comes down to funding, finding the necessary resources to be able to prepare and have an adequate place for our police officers to operate from so today’s renovation has now seen two new police officers being posted out her that will be working full time out here in this community and I think that is very very important. The Ministry of National Security along with the police department has always been looking at ways to be able to give better service to the community and the greatest thing you can do is have police officers posted in the respective villages. I know right now this year we’ll be having the building of the new police station in Carmelita Village which will be supporting the five villages of the East and of course giving a quicker response time and in terms of reports being made and definitely I think that will go a long way so again we will have to find more personnel to man that new police station. That police station I think sometime next month we should have the ground breaking for that and works will immediately start on that police station which would have started from last year. But nevertheless I think these things go to show the interest and the kind of direction that the police department is taking in trying to bring about that service to our communities.”
The ComPol stated that with the substation opened, the officers will be able to do more proactive policing, which will enhance their relationship with the residents.