On Friday, member of the Eastern Division’s Community and Public Relations (CPR) Unit, Woman Corporal Hortence Hernandez, said the Department has the Jasmine Alert up and ready for use, specifically to address cases of child abduction.
While not directly commenting on the alleged abduction incidents reported across the country, Corporal Hernandez explains the importance of the Alert, named for murder and abduction victim Jasmine Lowe, and how the community can help.
Woman Corporal Hortence Hernandez – Coordinator of the Jasmine Alert Program
“How the Jasmine alert basically works: As soon as the Police Officers get this information, [they] send this information to me. We work very closely both with BTL and Smart. So all the information, including a photograph of this child or children that is given to me, is then sent to BTL and Smart, who them send this information via a short text message to all phones throughout the country.
Now if the child is being abducted within Belize City, it is definitely going to be this portion of the country who will get that text message first. Then incrementally they will send out to different parts of the country. But the priority is to send out the text message, first to the area where the child is believed to have been abducted.”
The alert works best if reported within 24 hours of the abduction/kidnapping.
Parents are asked to make a most recent photograph of their child available, and facilitate the Department by taking two photographs of their children per year with no distracting items and not smiling, so that Police can have them to send along with the particulars via email and text message.
Two Jasmine Alerts have been implemented since the program began in 2012: one for an Orange Walk teenager Hugo Moreno, and the other one for Beverly Martinez. In both cases the teenagers were found safe and sound and returned home.