Caye Caulker residents call for new police barracks
Posted: Thursday, January 7th, 2016. 6:58 p.m. CST
By Aaron Humes: In Caye Caulker, yes, perhaps. But certainly not in the aging and dilapidated cluster of wooden buildings at the corner of Avenida Mangle or Back Street and Luciano Reyes Street which serves as home to the island’s police contingent and their families.
Made almost entirely of wood, with rotting concrete in places, leaking water pipes and showing the wear and tear of 20 years’ usage, residents of La Isla Carinosa generally consider the barracks to be a relic and not worthy of an island experiencing rapid growth and development.
Additionally, they believe that without the proper tools to do their jobs, officers suffer from low morale and worry.
And that is why a group of them, organized as the People’s Coalition of Caye Caulker, are calling for the Ministry of National Security to honor its commitment to the island and build a new barracks to house the island’s officer corps and their families.
We are told that the current tour of 26 officers, not including commander Inspector Dehanne Augustine who lives elsewhere in the Caye, were not allowed to rotate out after completing their six-month tour as previously agreed.
Chairman of the Coalition Mike Medvikov and his deputy Joshua Height, both Americans transplanted to and living in Belize, say they have enlisted the support of the village council chaired by Wayne Miller and residents to approach area representative Manuel Heredia Jr. and National security Minister John Saldivar to jumpstart the plans.
Caye Caulker native and business owner Shary Trejo told us it is no less than officers deserve after a significant turnaround in attitude and performance under Inspector Augustine.
All whom we spoke to say Police have made substantial progress in regaining the trust and support of residents following last June’s riots in the wake of the death of Hilberto Sotz inside the police station.
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