People’s Coalition of San Pedro continues to seek progress during February Meeting
Saturday, February 28th, 2015
The People’s Coalition of San Pedro held their second monthly meeting for 2015 on Thursday, February 19th. The meeting saw the attendance of Officer in Charge of San Pedro Police Superintendent Luis Castellanos, Police Constable Juan Choc, Honorable Manuel Heredia’s Executive Assistant Betty Longsworth, Josie Nuñez, Mayor Daniel Guerrero, Deputy Mayor Gabriel Nuñez, Freddy Gonzalez, Dorian Nuñez, Janelle Cowo, Erik Lausen, Janine Lopez, Brain Cook, and Scott Harnish. The meeting was officiated by Steve Spiro.
The meeting opened with an official crime status report by Superintendent Castellanos. During that report, he indicated the challenges that the San Pedro Police Department is facing. These challenges include lack of vehicular resources, lack of a morgue, the need for more officers, and the need to train officers in customer relations. He also highlighted some recommendations that will be taken at the station to improve the work done by the police. “We need to train our police officers more in public relations. We are recommending that we use a confiscated boat to transport prisoners, since our cost for using the public transport is exorbitant. We will also be giving some of the wives of our officers a stipend to provide prisoners with meals daily. This will also be alleviating financial burdens on police families,” said Castellanos.
In addition, Mayor Guerrero indicated that the San Pedro Town Council will be donating a vehicle to the police department to alleviate the strain that the police are currently facing. Guerrero also stated that steps are being taken to construct a temporary morgue on the island. He indicated that once a draft for the morgue is finalized, he will be announcing more details to the public. In regards to training the officers in public relations, Spiro stated that plans are being finalized to provide a training seminar to the San Pedro Police Department in the coming months.
Another issue discussed was the lack of Tourism Police on the island. Castellanos stated that the island only has three tourism police officer. The group, with the assistance of Longsworth and Minister Heredia, will be petitioning the Belize Police Department for more tourism police officers to be sent to San Pedro.
In order to reduce crime in the town core, a suggestion was made to Guerrero and his councilors to spearhead the formation of a Town Core Neighborhood Watch Group. No solid commitment was given by those present with regards to the request. The People’s Coalition will continue working on getting a Town Core Neighborhood Watch and promote the use of the neighborhood watch system in other areas of the island.
Other issues discussed to a lesser extent included the boat manifest, youth issues and curfew.
The People’s Coalition of San Pedro was formed with the goal of addressing and finding solution for issues plaguing the island. The next meeting will be held in March of 2015.
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