350 students representing thirteen schools in the Corozal District “graduated” today from the Police Department’s Gang Resistance Education and Training programme. The initiative, which started in 2011 with seed funding from the United States Government, takes community police officers trained in anti-gang education into schools to help children develop greater resistance against gang involvement and criminal activity. Here are highlights of today’s event.
Calbert Myers, Community Police Officer, Zone 11
“We have thirteen school which will be graduating from this vibrant, great program which is the Gang Resistant And Education Program, GREAT students I hope that you use what you have been thought to be great so that you become great citizens from this country Belize.”
W/CPL Rosario Romero, Officer in Charge, Community Policing
“It will take you a long way if you use these tools whenever you encounter challenges in your lives you will use it, you were also taught to seek help when you find yourself in difficult situations in making the right choices in life and most importantly to exercise these great golden rules and that which is obliged which is respect, if you respect others, others will respect you and that is what I always emphasize then nothing can go wrong, right.”
Inspector Elroy Carcamo, G.R.E.A.T. Focal Point Coordinator
“One of the things is being proactive and innovative and looking at the trend of what is happening we decided that the need of this program is very essential and we have other programs, this program will not stop crime and violence just like that no but we have other programs and the GREAT program is just one of those dynamic program that the police department has within the community policing section that assist, we go into the schools and we try to deal with the situation at a very young age so that these children can make a good decision and do not fall into the cross of gang violence. First of all, I would like to thank the Government of Belize and the United States Embassy for allowing us to go and train and understanding the program and also implementing it and supporting it up to this point and if you notice the incentives that these kids are getting these are and most of it given to us is through the US Embassy because they see where the program is benefitting them in their country and they want us to get the benefit as well. I also need to thank the Community Policing Officers from Corozal especially for the wonderful ceremony that they put off but also all the community policing officers across the country because you’ll notice that during this month you will see a lot of GREAT graduation happening, the teachers, ministry of education and the students but most of all I would like to thank the families who allow the police officers to go into the schools and work with the teachers and to facilitate the program.”