As Belize observes Women’s Month, the Belize Police Department is saluting the women among them. Female Officers of all ranks converged in Belize City today for a conference catered specifically to the women of the department. It was held under the theme “Women rising above circumstances, inspiring and innovating change”.
Dalila Ical: “Some three hundred Police officers gathered in Belize City from all over the country. Their focus today was on themselves as professional women within the Belize Police Department. It was a day to celebrate their achievements and discuss the way forward.”
Kim Simplis Barrow Special Envoy for Women and Children: “There is no denying that at each and everyone of your posts you are making space for a new narrative and perspective in a legal framework dominated by men. This is important because you are making way for balance and equality everyday.”
ACP Desiree Magdaleno Commander, Management Services: “We have to rise up in unity, unity is strength and we have to be able to speak the language that supports each other.”
Dalila Ical: “ACP Desiree Magdaleno Commander of Management Services says there are several matters of both challenges and successes that need to be spoken of and heard. Among these is the rise of women to the top ranks of the Department and ACP Magdaleno is one of the pioneers leading the way.”
ACP Desiree Magdaleno Commander, Management Services: “I think that a lot of kudos has to be given to the former women officers who have actually broke some barriers for us, who have created the path for us, who have fought for certain things to happen that were not happening in the past and those persons are Ms. Leslie, Murray and these are the people whom we take our hats off to, who have stood up and advocated for us that opportunities have been opened. We have Ms. Leslie who was our first Deputy Commissioner of Police. None of us has reached to that level as yet but I am very optimistic about that because I am right there waiting to get there and I wont stop there either.”
Dalila Ical: “The event was strongly supported by the Commissioner of Police Chester Williams who stressed the importance of women within the Department and it is currently under his leadership that three women are at the at the border points in the north, west and south of the country.”
Commissioner of Police Chester Williams: “That force is very critical to see that as a Department we have come this far to where we have no difficulty now putting our women in these key positions where we know requires some degree of toughness in terms of dealing with border issues and to be able to ensure that our policing mandate at these areas maintained. I can say that the women we have in these positions are doing exceptionally well in their area and I applaud them for the work that they continue to do.”
Dalila Ical: “But the changes for the women within the Department has trickled down even to the lower ranks. Mostly you find that there are now out in the fields, doing patrols just like the males in these hot spots so we are at a stage where the different duties in policing is not looked upon as a man’s job or a woman’s job but now we can put either a man or woman to do whatever we so wish for an officer to do.”
Dalila Ical: “Minister of National Security John Saldivar was also present and expressed his support including women in the top ranks of not only the Police Department but also in the other security forces.”
Minister of National Security John Saldivar: “For women of our Police Department here today you must have confidence in your ability and be tough enough to rise above the challenges and follow through with your plans and your goals.”
“Dalila Ical Love News.”
The conference also covered topics like domestic violence and sexual health. There are a little over three hundred female police officers in the Belize Police Department who represent twenty percent of the entire force.