Close to 25 Special Constables were sworn in on Sunday, May 13, 2012, after ordinary citizens completed a basic police training (special constables) course and can now volunteer their time to the San Pedro Police Department.
The two-day training course was hosted at Fido’s Courtyard in which the trainees learned the basics on constitutional rights, custody of prisoners, justifiable force and harm, searching of prisoners and suspects, courts and their functions/beat and police duties, report writing and powers/methods of arrest. The training was carried out by Inspector Jones and Corporal Tun.
San Pedro Police Department’s Assistant Superintendent Vienie Robinson stated that she is happy to reintroduce the Special Constables Program to the island as having more law enforcement representatives on the streets will only be more successful to reduce crime. The program falls within the community policing initiative of the Belize Police Department.
The new Special Constables received basic police duties training, they will not be allowed to carry guns because they are not police officers, but can conduct patrols and assist the San Pedro Police Officers in any way possible. The will work with the police department on a voluntary initiative and expected to dedicate a minimum of four hours per week of their time to the department.
San Pedro Town Councilor, Mr. Wally Nuñez Jr., attended the swearing in ceremony and encouraged the special constables to get more involved in community patroling, especially in their respective neighborhood watch groups and to become leaders within their neighborhoods. Councilor Nuñez is in charge of policing and working closely with the San Pedro Police Department.
Special Constables Brian Cook and Daniel Jones have been nominated as head of the group and will conduct meeting on a monthly basis and keep in constant communication with the San Pedro Police Department. The Special Constables will be identifiable with special uniforms clearly indicating their status.