Report from Belize

We went to Belize and met with law enforcement and criminal justice officials to
establish links with Crime Stoppers:

July 2, 2001

Dr. Alan J. Pratt
President

Judge Richard
Carter
Executive Director
Crime Stoppers International, Inc.
PO Box
614
Arlington, Texas 76004-0614

Gentleman,

As you know Brooke Waldock, CSAW Board Secretary and I recently went to
Belize and Guatemala. While in Belize we planned to act as emissaries for CSI
and Washington State and explore the opportunities for a formalized Crime
Stoppers partnership. I would like to report that we were successful.

Prior to departure I made contact with the Attorney General of Belize, Mr.
Godfrey Smith concerning our mission. He immediately put me in touch with the
Director of Public Prosecution of Belize, Mr. Rory Field, Whom I conversed with
and set up a meeting. We met Mr. Field at his office in Belize City, provided
letters of introduction from the United States and CSI and spent quite some time
with him explaining in detail the philosophy and history of Crime Stoppers. At
the conclusion of that meeting it was obvious that Mr. Field was intrigued with
the concept. As a result we set up a luncheon with other officials the following
Monday. Jose Zetina, Assistant Commissioner of Police, represented the
Commissioner of Police for Belize, Hughington Williams, at the luncheon. Also
present was Yolanda Murray, Superintendent-Eastside Division, Mario Vernon,
Inspector of Police- Commander CIB, Ewaki Itza, Asst. Superintendent, Louise
Willis, Asst. Inspector, Allen Whylie, Asst. Superintendent of police-
Commander- planning and inspection Branch and Mr. Field, Brooke and I.

We had a wonderful working lunch and were well received. We learned that in
the late 1980’s the basic footprint of a Crime Stoppers program was implemented
in Belize. However, over time the program faded because of a turnover within the
Chamber of Commerce, which was the main private sector involvement. The
officials already had an understanding of the program but were very enthused
with the more detailed overview of the mechanics of a fully functional
operation.

In addition, the timing of our visit could not have been any better since it
coincided with the police departments Strategic Plans being developed for
2000-2005 We were told that have placed a heavy emphasis on Community Policing.
I will forward a copy of those reports to you.

The group was especially interested in the Crime Stoppers programs in
Bermuda, Cayman & Fiji and how they massaged their programs to address their
unique cultural nuances. We gave the group CSI manuals and supplies, provided by
Richard Carter whom we met in Dallas as well as sample materials and gifts from
Crime Stoppers of Puget Sound and the Crime Stoppers Association of Washington.
We have agreed to continue to provide the people of Belize with further
assistance and to help prepare them for a major launch and introduction into the
CSI family.

Belize, an independent state, is located in northeastern Central America
bounded on the north and northwest by Mexico, on the east by the Caribbean Sea
and on the south and west by Guatemala. Belize, until 1973 known as British
Honduras, became independent in 1981 and is a member of the Common wealth of
Nations. The total area of Belize is 22,965 sq. km (8,867-sq. mi.). We found the
people of Belize to be very friendly from the barrier reef of Tobacco Caye and
the Mangroves to the Myan ruins of Xunantunich and Cahal Pech; from Belize City
over to San Lorenzo. The country is in an enthusiastic and developing mode. We
believe that Belize is excited about nurturing this successful endeavor.

In closing, I again realized just how small the world really is. This last
week I had the opportunity to have breakfast at the Rotary Club in Seattle with
the new Chief of Police for our city, R. Gill Kerlikowske . At the table next to
me I met a visiting Rotarian and resident of Belize, Andre Lopez who is an
American who retired and has been a resident of Belize for some years. By
coincidence he was one of the individuals who was involved in one of the initial
Crime Stoppers Program in Belize. He invited me to return soon to continue with
our support for their endeavors.

Sincerely,

Ron Conlin, C-SAW President

Translate »