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Death of Leroy Cus highlights long-standing safety concerns about central walkway in Belmopan City

Posted: Tuesday, August 23, 2022. 9:17 am CST.

By Benjamin Flowers: The tragic death of 18-year-old Leroy Cus last week has authorities focusing on a problem that Belmopan residents, particularly university students, have been grappling with for years; the safety of the central walkway.

Cus, an employee of Brodies, was brutally stabbed to death on the central walkway on the night of Wednesday, August 17, while on his way home from work. He reportedly was found with two bank cards in his hand and nothing else on him, leading authorities to believe he was killed in the commission of a robbery.

In the aftermath of his death, Police Commissioner Chester Williams acknowledged that safety along the walkway is an issue that police have been aware of for some time and have made some efforts in addressing.

Williams said that the central walkway does have police patrols, but that it is poorly lit and almost two miles long, making it difficult to police.

“We have to look at it and see what more can be done, especially now that we have schools open, particularly UB and the students tend to use the walkway a lot,” Williams said.

He said that, in an effort to keep students safe, police are looking at an option where they would be posting officers at school campuses between the hours of 6:00 p.m. -8:30 p.m. He also said that he would be meeting with the area representative to approach Belize Electricity Limited about donating some lights to assist with illuminating the walkway.

Williams’ sentiment to re-evaluate security measures along the walkway, especially for university students was one of several recommendations made by the University of Belize Association of Student Governments (ASG) following Cus’ murder to increase student security along the dangerous stretch, where numerous robberies have taken place.

The NSUB also recommended increasing surveillance and monitoring systems in and around Independence Park; as well as increasing the routes and frequencies of university shuttles.

The need to review safety protocols, in general, has been mirrored by the University of Belize Association of Student Governments (ASG), which has arranged with the university’s administration to hold a series of safety assemblies this week and next week, in an effort to hear from students their concerns and recommendations to address the problem.

Thus far there have been no arrests in Cus’s murder investigation; however, police reported last week that the knife believed to be the murder weapon was found and that one person was detained for questioning.

 

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