Police Department Holds Award Ceremony for “Call for Papers” Initiative
Today, the Ministry of Home Affairs and the Belize Police Department held an award ceremony for its “Call for Papers” initiative. In August, to test and highlight the intellectual skills of police officers, the ministry issued a call for papers, which tasked officers with submitting a research paper on issues affecting policing. Today, after a panel of professionals, which included Love News’ very own News Director, Renee Trujillo, reviewed the submissions of fifteen finalists. Chief Executive Officer Kevin Arthurs provided additional details on the event.
Kevin Arthurs, Chief Executive Officer, Ministry of Home Affairs:“And we assembled an editorial board of private sector persons which included judges, persons from the media like from your media house there brother Fem and also persons who are economists. We had Mr. Dion Elliot who bridges both the banking sector and the journalistic sector and so that impressive group of judges was able to maneuver through the twenty two submissions of office which is a very impressive number of officers for the time frame that we had. Today we managed to honor the top three contributors. This exercise is one of pride for police officers and should be one for the public. In fact the original idea was to let it form part of the September celebrations to show that police officers are not just law enforcers, that they have ideas, that they’re creative and so this creates a platform for them to show something more than just the muscle that we need at times to do the law but to really reinforce that law enforcement is more about the brain than it is about the hand and so for a lot of the officers as you heard them in their presentations today they were extremely proud to be heard. A lot of times we look past the police officers and look past their humanity and one of the things that we have been doing since I’ve been here is to make sure that we reinforce that we want to hear from them. We cannot dismiss any voice. We can contextualize it and we can reframe it but the value of the collective voice there are more persons in the society who are law abiding citizens than maybe the few thousand or something who have come a little bit afoul of the law and so this is an opportunity for police officers to be heard whether or not they held the rank of a constable or whether or not they were Assistant Superintendent of Police. And so it’s a very proud and happy time for me in my dénouement here at the Ministry.”
The first-place winner Commander of Community Policing in the Eastern Division, Zenobio Coc, spoke to Love News about the endeavor and how it will aid him in his law enforcement career.
Zenobio Coc, Commander of Community Policing Eastern Division: “First of all I want to say thank God because without God nothing is possible. I am so happy today. It’s a really happy experience. What did I do different besides my peers? I believe that I just optimized my level of understanding the topic. You cannot propel yourself far if you do not start from scratch. So standardizing everything in the first instance is what takes you to another level that is how you optimize whatever comes along with that.”
Fem Cruz, Cayo Correspondent: How much will this now push you to achieve more or be more aggressive in the work that you do for the police?
Zenobio Coc, Commander of Community Policing Eastern Division: “Being that I am the Commander of Community Oriented Policing this in itself will propel the other programs because we deal with programs on a daily basis within Belize City by extension the Belize district. And this will allow me to share information with my officers so that they will be better equipped to do the daily duties, especially when nurturing and molding young people, especially in South Side Belize City, we see a lot of problems there. We see a lot of dysfunctional and marginalized families and we will be there to assist where possible, and especially with the programs that we have in place.”
This is the first initiative of its kind, and saw a total of 22 submissions.