Saturday, April 20, 2024

Belize Police Department signs MOA with San Pedro Junior College to provide officers with scholarships

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The Belize Police Department and the San Pedro Junior College (SPJC) have signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) to provide scholarship opportunities to police officers assigned to Caye Caulker and Ambergris Caye who are interested in obtaining an Associate Degree. The scholarship offers a 50% discount on tuition. According to the agreement, the number of police officers benefitting from this MOA should exceed five at any given cohort.

On Friday, July 1st, the document was signed by SPJC’s Dean Gustavo Ellis and Assistant Commissioner of Police Howell Gillette on behalf of the Eastern Police Division. The agreement was also signed by the Chairlady of the college’s board, Justice of the Peace Martha Guerrero, and islander Abel Guerrero.

The agreement will be revisited every five years. Dean Ellis said such assistance is to help the many police officers to further their studies. The Dean believes that such an opportunity will improve the officers’ lives and help them continue climbing the ladder of success within the police department. Another benefit is better salaries for police officers with degrees, sharpening their problem-solving skills, promotional opportunities, and improving their communication skills.

Gillette added that the service members would also develop self-empowerment. “We are working with other institutions to see more of our officers return to studying,” said Gillette. “This will be beneficial to the public we serve as well as to the officers themselves,” Gillette noted that they are working on a program to increase the value of the scholarship and further reduce the cost of tuition.

The SPJC will host their graduation for this year on Saturday, July 9th, starting at 5PM. Five police officers will be graduating with their Associate’s degrees within this new graduating class.

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