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Belize gets major Police boost: 231 new officers join the force

Posted: Saturday, April 20, 2024. 3:54 am CST.

By Horace Palacio: The Belize Police Department received a significant boost on Friday as over 200 new officers officially joined the ranks following their graduation from the Police Training Academy. The ceremony marked the largest passing out in Belize’s history, with a special emphasis on female representation.

Addressing the new officers, Minister of Home Affairs Kareem Musa stated, “You make history today because you are members of the largest recruit squad in Belizean history. Today we are honored to welcome a cadre of 231 police officers. More significant than that, Squad 97 has proven to be a squad of firsts with an unprecedented 57 of its trainees being women. This constitutes nearly 25% of the squad, surpassing the United Nations standard of just 20%.”

Musa also stressed the importance of community partnership and professionalism: “Your job is the business of security, but it only becomes meaningful when people feel safe. You must remember that you are professionals… the police exist to work in partnership with the community for a safer Belize.”

Commissioner of Police Chester Williams outlined the strategic deployment of the new recruits, focusing on areas experiencing recent unrest: “We will be putting more officers on the ground in rural Belize…we have to find a way to address it.” Williams also highlighted deployments to key tourist destinations throughout the country.

Though this historic graduation is a major step forward, both the Minister and the Commissioner acknowledged that further recruitment is needed to meet policing demands. Williams expressed hope for another intake of recruits by the end of the year.

 

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