The San Pedro Police Department held a small yet very significant inauguration ceremony of their new Police Barracks (Living Headquarters) on Wednesday, August 13, 2014. The living headquarters of the San Pedro Police Department was in dire state of decomposition and with the support of the community of La Isla Bonita a new two-storey building had been constructed.
Corporal Ryan Timmons was the Master of Ceremonies for the event and during the event, speeches were delivered by Henry Jemmott Deputy of the Belize Police Department Coastal Executive Unit, Coastal Executive Manager - Assistant Superintendent Luis Castellanos and Minister of National Security John Saldivar.
Police Constable Juan Choc delivered an enlightening reflection on the police barracks from its past and present condition. “When I was told I was going to be transferred to San Pedro I listened to the song La Isla Bonita, but when I arrived and saw where I was going to live I was disappointed; it wasn’t pretty at all,” stated PC Choc in his speech.
He continued by stating that Asst. Supt. Castellanos promised that the living conditions were going to improve but he did not believe so. “Living in the old headquarters was very frustrating, but we were not discouraged. Now the new barracks is a reality thanks to the community and businesses that helped. We will take good care of it and promise to work harder for our community,” stated PC Choc.
Delivering the closing remarks for the event was a very elated Police Constable Genaro Samos who couldn’t stop saying “Thank you, Thank you, Thank you”. In his speech he wholeheartedly thanked everyone for making this dream a reality and stated that the new barracks is a moral builder and spirit lifter for the police officers. He spoke on behalf of all the constables in saying that they are extremely grateful and will do their best for the community of San Pedro.
Assistant Superintendent Luis Castellanos officially took over the San Pedro Police Department in January 2013 and brought with him a positive mind and willingness to work for a better and safer San Pedro. In his first interview with Ambergris Today he mention that before he is transferred out of the island one of his top priorities was to improve the living conditions of the police officers.
The police living headquarters were in a deplorable state and Castellanos stated that by improving the headquarters the police officers would feel better and give it their very best to work for a safe island. It is with this in mind that Castellanos met with a couple of the island businesses for support which included Gricel Graniel from Matachica Resort, Mukul Kanabar from Phoenix Resort, Brent Kirkman from Victoria’s House Resort and David Hess from Las Terrazas Resort who all ended up pledged a total of $20,000BZ towards the construction of a new building.
The new building would not have been possible if it weren’t for the kind donations from the following individuals and businesses as well:
The Phoenix, Mata Chica, Victoria House, Caye Casa, Landings at Tres Cocos (Roger and Susan), Caye Management (Mary Hawthorne), Diamante, Exotic Caye Beach Resort, Blue Water Grill Restaurant, Hidden Treasure Restaurant, Lola’s Pub, Tropic Air, Havana Cigars, Sew What, Carlton Anti Aging Foundation, Henry & Mary Beisner, Mark & Brooke Maggiotto, Ed & Debbie Freeman, Fantuzzi Family, Nick & Debbie Barton, The Keith Family (Cincinnati OH), David Baker, Mark & Mary Pugh, Steven Roscoe Bell, David & Cindy Simon, Stacey Chesnick, Allen Baxter & Denise Dixey and Dr. Daniel Gonzalez.