On Sunday, July 20, 2014, the opening ceremony of the 17th National Police Youth Cadet Corps Summer Camp 2014 was held in Benque Viejo Town, Belize. The ceremony welcomed 65 police officers and 291 youth cadets as well as a cadre of local and national guests.
Amongst the group was San Pedro Community Officer P.C. Juan Choc and W.P.C. Veraline Rivas accompanied by eight San Pedro Cadets that included: Derwayne Meigha (11yrs), Zailan Reneau (12yrs), Francis Auila (10yrs), Jake Anderson (10yrs), Luis Edwards (10yrs), Daylon Meighan (9yrs), Jamal Polonio (10yrs) and Jabel Martinez (11yrs).
San Pedro Police Youth Cadet Corp at National Summer Camp
San Pedro Police Youth Cadet Corp inspected by heat of Police at opening ceremony of camp
The National Police Youth Cadet Corp Summer Camp has been bringing together youth cadets from across Belize for one week of structured learning, athletics, and fun since 1977. Through the summer camp, youth cadets befriend others from different parts of the country, bridging cultural and geographical divides and bringing upcoming generations of Belizeans further together with the aid of U.S. funded CARSI grants.
The camp involved lectures on decision making and peer pressure, as well as exercises in team building. They also experienced field trips to the ancient Maya ruins of Xunantunich and Cahal Pech, Spanish Lookout’s Western Dairies and the cave system of Che Chen Ha. They practiced food drills and earned badges such as fitness awards, family living awards and citizenship awards. Badges are needed to get promoted with the ranks of the cadet program.
The San Pedro Cadets received a certificate of participation in the 17th National Youth Cadet Corp Summer Program. The SP Cadet program is sponsored by Freddie Gonzalez and Councilor Gabriel Nuñez of the San Pedro Town Council, Luis Castellanos Officer in Charge SP Police Department and Belize Sotheby’s International Realty. For any children interested in joining the program, parents can call Gabriel Nuñez at 605-0976.
In attendance at the July 20th ceremony was Deputy Commissioner of Police Miguel Angel Segura, Country-Wide Commander of Community Policing Dehanne Agustin and Superintendent of Police Benque Viejo Daniel Arzu. The U.S. Embassy was represented by INL Coordinator, Robert Gibson. Mr. Gibson offered these words: "Each of you has chosen to attend this week-long camp in the middle of your summer vacation- and that says a lot about you. While your other friends are out playing you will be participating in a number of training activities, and attending life skills classes, to include the Gang Resistance Education and Training".
Opening Ceremony of National Youth Cadet Corp. Summer Camp
Through the Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement (INL)/CARSI, the United States is assisting the governments of the region in their effort to take back the streets and create an improved citizen security environment with safer communities and a culture of lawfulness. INL/CARSI programs enable Central American governments to weaken the structure and violence of gangs, organized crime, and narcotics, people and arms traffickers and diminish their influence. The United States, through INL/CARSI, is committed to implementing sustainable, high-impact programs in citizen security to include, community policing, law enforcement training and professionalization, anti-gang activities, equipping police and security forces, sharing information within the region for the investigation and disruption of criminal activities, and assisting in the interdiction of narcotics, firearms, bulk cash, and smuggling.
As a vital long-term goal for the U.S. in Central America, community policing represents a greater community involvement between citizens and law enforcement. The National Police Youth Cadet Corp Summer Camp is a paramount example of the success and importance of community policing in Belize.
Bon fire activities at National Youth Cadet Corp. Summer Camp
Young Cadets visit Xunantunich Maya Archaeological Site