Belmopan. January 30th, 2018. On Saturday, January 27th, 2018, representatives from the Belize Police Department, Ministry of Home Affairs, and elected officials from San Pedro Town met in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye to discuss the recent shootings and to re-strategize their plan of action for the island.
Present at the meeting were Minister of Tourism & Civil Aviation and Area Representative of Belize Rural South, Hon. Manuel Heredia Jr.; Mayor Daniel Guerrero, Deputy Mayor Gary Greif, Councilor Gabriel Nunez Sr., CEO in the Ministry of Home Affairs (Ret’d) Col. George Lovell, Commissioner of Police Mr. Allen Whylie, Assistant Commissioner of Police Mr. Edward Broaster, and the Officer Commanding the Coastal Executive Unit (San Pedro) Superintendent of Police Mr. Henry Jemmott.
All attendees expressed their concerns in regards to the recent shootings and the general perception as it relates to safety and impact on the tourism industry. Following discussions, a plan of action was formed and its implementation is expected in the coming weeks. Those actions include but are not limited to:
1. Re-strategizing the distribution of manpower on the ground that will see more police visibility and quicker responses;
2. Allocating additional policing equipment that will improve police response time;
3. Using technology to help in policing effort;
4. Engaging the community in strengthening and forming neighborhood watch groups;
5. Engaging in a comprehensive public awareness campaign geared at fostering and building a stronger relationship between the citizens, business community, the town council, and the Police Department; and
6. Implementing a boat passenger manifest at all port of entries within the next three months.
Specific tasks have been assigned to the various entities represented at the meeting. While a few of the steps taken will be immediate, some actions will require additional time for implementation; therefore, the public’s support is vital to ensure maximum success.
The San Pedro Town Council and the Police Department continue to encourage members of the public to get involved in neighborhood watch groups in their respective communities and to report any suspicious activity in their areas.