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US broadens security assistance to Belize

By Caribbean News Global contributor

BELMOPAN, Belize – US ambassador Michelle Kwan commemorated support to bolster regional security with the donation of five buildings, a fleet of vehicles, and office equipment to the Belize police department, at a ceremony held at the police headquarters.

Minister of home affairs Kareem Musa and police commissioner Chester Williams received the donation on behalf of the government and people of Belize.

“The donation includes a state-of-the-art newly constructed CompStat building, four pickup trucks, one van, four prefabricated office buildings, and office equipment,” noted a joint press release, December 14, 2022. ‘Funded by the US Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL) at over US $883,000, this is part of bilateral projects through the Central American Regional Security Initiative (CARSI) to build local law enforcement capacity.”

Through these projects, the United States and Belize are working together to increase training for officers, formalize police policies, promote compliance of those policies, and improve the police department’s ability for internal oversight and accountability.

Ambassador Kwan noted:

“We are resolute in our commitment to support the government of Belize in enhancing citizen security. This latest tranche of US donations through CARSI is pivotal
to Belize’s efforts to reduce crime and better serve the citizens of this country. At the core of our work with the Belize police department is to provide law enforcement the tools and resources to be successful in improving security for the benefit of Belize and the region.”

Wednesday’s donation supports key divisions within the Belize police department, including the CompStat Program, the professional standards branch, the research, planning, legal, and compliance branch, and the Police Training Academy.

Since 2008, the United States has committed US $38 million in INL-CARSI funds toward programming, equipment, and officer training at the Belize Police Department. The US embassy has also facilitated Belize’s inclusion in the Caribbean Basin Security (CBSI) Connect Online Learning System, a shared US-Caribbean security partnership that supports efforts to reduce illicit trafficking, increase citizen security, and promote crime prevention.

Minister Musa underscored:

“These donations serve as a commitment, from both the government of Belize and the embassy of the United States of America, that we stand committed to the security and prosperity of Belize and its people. These donations will serve to improve the service that the police department provides by building the confidence of its officers in creating more avenues for professional training and development.”



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