Cayo Safety Day held Print E-mail
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Thursday, 19 June 2014 00:00

The Cayo Neighborhood Watch Association (CNWA) reached out to the community on Saturday of this past weekend at the Cayo Welcome Center in San Ignacio Town in an all out effort to spread some personal safety tips.  Coming out to assist the CNWA were San Ignacio Police, the Fire Department, Crime Stoppers Belize and the Belize Emergency Response Team (BERT). All teams paraded down the George Price Highway in San Ignacio and across the Hawkesworth Bridge to Santa Elena on Saturday, with the local Scouts group at the lead; holding the Belize, Police Force, Scouts and the United States of America Flag.

The parade ended at the Cayo Welcome Center where the CNWA’s Cayo Safety Day began in earnest. BERT personnel were on hand to show the public how to administer Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation as well as how to assist a choking victim. The Spanish Lookout Rescue Team shared that for traffic accidents, assistance is provided free of cost. For private transfers, the BERT marked ambulances would charge $275.00. The BERT Ambulances can be reached via BTL at 6000-911 and via SMART at 6770-911. From one of the three of BERT’s ambulances comes the capability of extricating passengers from a crumpled car with the powerful ‘Jaws of Life.’

Meanwhile; the Crime Stoppers Belize Team was on hand to educate members of the public about their program. According to Chief Operating Officer for Crime Stoppers Belize, Ms. Chris Garcia, the National anti-crime program began in 2004 when Rotary decided to celebrate its 100th Anniversary. But, it was the Police Commissioner, Carmen Zetina, at the time very concerned about the safety of potential witnesses, who suggested that Crime Stoppers be utilized to assist the Police. Thus; Crime Stoppers was set up by establishing a toll free hotline (sponsored by BTL) at 0-800-922-8477, which routes callers from Belize to Miami. It is with a multi-lingual team in Miami, where Belizean witnesses to a crime could share their information anonymously and be rewarded monetarily; should that information be used to solve a particular crime. Funds for those Crime Stoppers rewards to solving crimes are now coming in from local businesses such as the Belize Bank; with pledges already having been made by Habet and Habet, Brother’s Habet, Builder’s Hardware and Scotiabank.
“We want to improve the quality of tips, we want to improve the amount of tips, we want to teach more people that they can use the program,” says Ms. Chris Garcia.

By mid-day at the Cayo Welcome Center, a San Ignacio base Karate Group displayed some of its trademark moves should a victim be approached by an assailant. A black belt Karate instructor was on hand to give tips on what to do with an aggressor.

As to the CNWA, members of the Public continue to be welcomed to join the Organization, which serves as a “bridge” between the Public and Police.

“…anybody can get involved [in CNWA] where the public work hand in hand with the police,” says Ernie Braun, President of the Cayo Neighborhood Watch Association.