ComPol Chester Williams visits San Pedro to coordinate surveillance system installation
Saturday, January 14th, 2023
To continue working towards a safer island community, the Commissioner of Police (ComPol) Chester Williams visited the island on Friday, January 13th, to join the efforts in establishing a surveillance network in and around downtown San Pedro. The plan also aims to partner with local stakeholders and set up security cameras in strategic points of the island town to monitor illicit activities better.
The boss of the Belize Police Department was joined by Senior Superintendent Christopher Noble, Superintendent Alejandro Cowo, Assistant Superintendent Basil Reyes, along with other members of the police department and representatives of Champion Security System, Digi (Belize Telecommunications), and Belize Electricity Limited.
ComPol Williams said the surveillance network they plan to install in San Pedro would further enhance police capability to monitor activities in certain areas of town, which includes public places frequented by island residents and tourists alike. Williams also noted that the safety project is to keep an eye on illicit acts, bad elements and, apprehend anyone involved in such activities and remove them from the community.
Stakeholders within the areas where the security cameras are installed who are interested in joining the program by collaborating with the police are welcome to come on board. ComPol said that besides the San Pedro Town Council, several other businesses on the island are already partnering with the police to establish and start running the surveillance program. Business establishments interested in helping with the project can visit the San Pedro Police Formation to find out more about this partnership aimed at making San Pedro safer.
Some of the areas scouted on Friday for the possible installations of cameras included Central Park, certain beach areas, downtown streets, north of downtown, and some subdivisions such as San Mateo. The project will start soon.
The urgency to make the island a safer tourism destination increased following the tragic shooting incident at San Pedro’s central park on December 30, 2022, where a tourist was struck by a stray bullet and killed. J’Bria Michelle Bowens, a 23-year-old nursing student visiting from the United States, was by Central Park sitting in a golf cart with other family members when near 9:30PM, a public shooting took place. Bowens was shot in the neck, killing her almost immediately. Police say that Bowens was not the intended target, but unfortunately, she was in the direct line of fire.
Police investigation led to the arrest of two islanders, Delson Paguada and Lucio Salazar, who were charged with Murder. Police are still looking for a third person, Alfredo Trapp, believed to be connected with the fatal incident.
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