Posted: Tuesday, February 16, 2021. 8:38 am CST.
By Aaron Humes: Police Commissioner Chester Williams; Minister of Home Affairs & New Growth Industries Kareem Musa; President of the Police Association, Sergeant Jermaine Hyde; and Lord Michael Ashcroft on behalf of his COVID-19 relief fund opened a new gymnasium for the Belize Police Department at Queen Street today.
Titled ‘Fit for Duty,’ officers and members of the public – subject of course to recently established COVID-19 protocols – can get fit and in shape for a cost of twenty dollars registration and twenty dollars membership fee for officers and forty for citizens. It will be open from six a.m. to eight p.m.
Reports say the Department once maintained one of the best gyms in the country at its long-time home of Queen Street, and this one, located on the second floor of the historic building where the cafeteria was, serves the same purpose.
The Lord Ashcroft COVID-19 Relief Fund provided $132,000 in funds to transform the space and meet a key demand of cops in the Old Capital. As its namesake explained, “My interest in law and order goes back to 1988 where in the United Kingdom, I formed and became chairman of the United Kingdom Crime Stoppers organization. When ComPol first approached me to be able to help—the first one was on masks and P.P.E.s and gloves for the police force, I was absolutely delighted to be able to do it. With the gym, to keep one or two of you a little fit as I look around, I am absolutely pleased. So, it’s my pleasure to be able to do this.”
The Minister added, “…this is a time for us to be very health conscious and aware of our health status and so it is very important that we keep in shape, especially in times of COVID-19. So, I am sure that officers will make very good use of the new facility.”
In addition to turning a modest profit to maintain the equipment, said the Commissioner, the new gym assists with something officers take for granted: “There is nothing in the police regulations as opposed to the B.D.F., which is a military organization, that members must maintain a certain level of physical standard. But we do expect that our officers must to some extent maintain a certain body structure, a certain degree of fitness. You know that the police duties entail a lot of moving around, it entails the pursuing of criminals and we cannot pursue criminals and stop them with bullets at all times. We must from time to time, see how we can use our own physical self to be able to catch up with criminals. So, we are hoping that with this gym, it will put us in a much better position to be able to do so.”
Corporal of Police Theodore Lopez has a year’s free membership, cash and a certificate for giving the gym its apropos name.
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