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38 New Vehicles for Belize Police Department Print E-mail
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Thursday, 15 May 2014 00:00

Some 38 brand new vehicles valued at some 2.3 million dollars was handed over on Wednesday to the Belize Police Department by Ms. Margaret D. Hawthorne, Charge d' Affairs, from the U.S Embassy. The fully equipped vehicles were handed over at a brief ceremony at the Police Training Academy in Belmopan. Present for the handing over were Government Officials, members of the Diplomatic Corp as well as Formation and Precinct Commanders from around the Country.

In her address, Ms. Margaret D. Hawthorne said that the Police vehicles will increase the mobility of the Police and strengthen their capacity. She reminded that in a similar donation two years ago to Belize City, there was a noticeable reduction in crime in that area.

“The U.S Government will be with you as a partner,” she said. 

Colonel George Lovell, Chief Executive Officer within the Ministry of National Security, who deputized for the Hon. John Saldivar, Minister of National Security (currently in Guatemala for a Drug Conference) said today that the United States works closely with those, from a strategic standpoint and pointed out that “…our bilateral cooperation has deepened over the past few years.”

The vehicles that were handed over to the Police are being earmarked for investigation and interdiction. Six vehicles will be going to the Orange Walk Police Formation, four for Benque Viejo del Carmen and four Polaris Vehicles will be assigned to the Western Border. San Ignacio, Belmopan and Dangriga will each get two vehicles assigned for investigation and Community Policing. Both Belize City and Ladyville will have one assigned vehicle to each. A set of Polaris Vehicles will also be deployed to the Northern Border.

Commissioner of Police Allen Whylie urged his Formation Commanders to take care of the gifted vehicles in a sustainable manner and to execute operations bearing budgetary limitations.

At the end of the presentation ceremony both Ms. Margaret D. Hawthorne and Colonel Lovell signed agreements in the caring of the vehicles, which will boost the size of Police assets nationwide by one third.

In a release from the Belize Office of Public Affairs, from the U.S Embassy in Belmopan, the donation of vehicles forms part of the Central American Regional Security Initiative CARSI. Since 2009, the U.S Embassy has implemented over $15 million in CARSI Programming in Belize. Also, since 2008, some $642 Million in U.S sourced CARSI assistance has been distributed to Belize, Honduras, Guatemala, Costa Rica, El Salvador and Panama jointly; to assist law enforcement and security forces to confront narcotics and arms trafficking, gangs, organized crime and border security deficiencies. Such a coordinated security arrangement for Central America has also led to disrupting criminal infrastructure, routes and networks. CARSI also intends to build the capacity of law enforcement and justice sectors to serve citizens and to address regional threats. CARSI has also been advancing community policing (such as the San Ignacio based Cayo Neighborhood Watch Association), gang prevention and social programming for at-risk youth and communities disproportionately affected by crime.