U.S. Government Expands and Upgrades Belize’s Automated Fingerprint Information System Print
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Thursday, 07 December 2017 00:00

On Monday, December 4, 2017, the U.S. Embassy transferred 14 new Automated Fingerprint Identification System (AFIS) terminals to the Ministry of Home Affairs and the Belize Police Department. The project, valued at approximately $430,000 USD was officially signed by Adrienne Galanek, Chargé d’Affaires, U.S. Embassy, and Hon. Elodio Aragon, Minister of State for Home Affairs.

The handover of documents took place at the Belmopan Police Headquarters. Chargé Galanek highlighted the Embassy’s dedication to assist the Government of Belize in increasing its forensic capacity, decreasing impunity, improving the justice system, and making Belize safer for all.

Minister Aragon considered the AFIS upgrade and expansion a “milestone for the Belize Police Department and the people of this country.”  With today’s handover, the Government of Belize now has a significantly expanded forensic toolset to investigate and ultimately prosecute crime.

The Government of Belize first invested in AFIS in 2002.  These additional terminals, software upgrades, and an associated server, donated by the Government of the United States, will allow Belize’s AFIS network to be truly nationwide, with a terminal in each district office, the Police Training Academy, and other key sites.

The United States also provided training in Belmopan for police officers, Scenes of Crime technicians, and Police Academy instructors. These persons will be responsible for further training.  Personnel can now conduct automated fingerprint searches against the central database, store electronic images, and electronically exchange fingerprints and responses at any time of day, 365 days a year.

Since 2008, the United States has contributed over US $42 million to advance citizen security, economic prosperity, and good governance in Belize through our Central America Regional Security Initiative (CARSI).