The village of Crooked Tree in Belize District is located inland on the lagoon. It is quiet and sleepy and probably best known for the annual cashew festival coming up this weekend. But one of its long-standing issues has been the need for a Police Station. It has been several years in the making to replace the decrepit older building and today it was opened. Well-known resident Steve Anthony Perriott paid tribute to some of those responsible.
“I want to say thank you to everyone that is here. The acting Prime Minister today, Mr. John Saldivar… I got to tell you, that is a man of his word. He probably tired of me. In last year I use to lay wait him on Wave. Every time he got on Wave, I would call up, ‘Minister what’s going on with the jail.’ He told me not to worry, its coming. He use to give me time spans on when things were going to happen and they did happen. Last time he told me, ‘you would get it by Christmas, don’t worry.’ We had it in October or somewhere, well before Christmas. There are some people who was involve wit it way before the Minister came in. You all remember the little board one we had back here, the prison… somebody burn it down and no one wanted to say thank you. As long as it was there, the statement was that Crooked tree has a Police Station that needs repairs. When it was gone, Crooked Tree didn’t have none, now we got it. I want to say thank you very much for that.”
Area representative Edmond Castro recounted how much he begged for the Station from his Cabinet colleagues.
” I remember the old Police Station went through three Area Represntatives before me and under none of them, it looked half way like this one. Amen? Upon getting elected, I knew we had a Police Station that was not worthy of any Police officer to live in. I remember I was use to go to Cabinet and I said to my colleagues in the Cabinet that I think I talked to the officer last weeks and he said that he had a situation in Crooked Tree and he locked up two people. You know where he had to put them? Under a cashew tree because there was no Police Station, so please help me to get a Police Station in Crooked Tree. As usual, I beg sometimes, I beg too much that sometimes I feel the Prime Minister tired of me because I beg too much. My cry always is,’ you know what, we never got anything before so we need a lot of things.”
Minister of National Security John Saldivar says that now that the Station is in place, the residents it serves have a platform to help fight crime.
“My Ministry and the Government of Belize, places great emphasis on citizen security and the respect for the rule of law. It affords me the opportunity to personally appeal to each and every one of you in this community to partner with the Police to rid this village of the criminal elements and crime which may appear from time to time. You may recall the challenges you had to live with prior to the opening of this Police Station. Those arrangements were not only inadequate but unacceptable. So it did not take much to convince me as the Minister responsible for National Security to have the construction of a new facility here at Crooked Tree.”
The building is valued at $295,000 and was built through the efforts of the village, its area representative, and the Government. The officer in charge is Donald Gillett.