Police Officers attend Weapons Training Workshop

Officers attached to the Belmopan, Benque Viejo and San Ignacio and Santa Elena sub formations of the Belize Police Department have been partaking in a weapons training workshop since Tuesday of this week. The training is being carried out by Kevin Weekley, who has been in law enforcement for about eight years now and is a licensed firearms instructor in Roswell New Mexico.  Kevin Weekley told us how the training came about.

Kevin Weekley – Firearms Instructor:
vlcsnap-2013-05-31-19h48m03s138It all came about through The Word At Work.  It’s an organization that’s been here in Belize for about ten years. Their main goal is to come and help the Belizeans, not to do anything for them, but you’re already doing something, we’re  just coming in to help you the best that we can through The Word At Work. Everything we try to do is through The Word At Work, and it’s just to spread to love of God however that is, through firearms training, through defensive tactics, showing love and showing respect. 

The four day training consisted primarily of searching, detaining, handcuffing and proper weapon use. Weekley says that the training also incorporates and teaches officers how to respect their detainee.

Kevin Weekley – Firearms Instructor:
vlcsnap-2013-05-31-19h47m15s148What we’re looking at training the officers and teaching the officers is how to search and detain and handcuff a subject safely so no bones are broken, and nobody’s hurt physically where they have to go to the hospital. Sometimes that will happen, but that’s not our intent.  We’re trying to show respect.  Our job as officers is to show you respect as a citizen.  Whatever you do, whether it be a busted tail-light, or if you have something illegal, gun, knife or drugs, we still have to respect you.  By respecting you, my intent is not to hurt you.  My intent is to disarm you, or stop an aggressive action.  By stopping that aggressive action, if you do get injured during that, it’s not what our intent is, but it does happen on occasions.

Sinquest Martinez, Assistant Supt of Police and Officer Commanding of  the Belmopan Police Sub-formation says that every day they have been rotating officers from within the Cayo District to maximize the training.

Sinquest Martinez – Assistant Supt of Police:
vlcsnap-2013-05-31-19h48m13s227This training course started from since Tuesday, and every day we have about 15 to 20 officers.  So I’m trying to [arrange] that all officers get the training likewise. The officers from San Ignacio, Belmopan, and Benque Viejo, have been here from since Tuesday getting this training.  It’s about over 75 officers have benefited from this training.

Besides the training, Kevin Weekley also mobilized support to have belts, gun holsters, vests, and hand cuff cases purchased in the states, which was donated this afternoon to the Belmopan Formation. Sinquest Martinez expressed his thanks.

Sinquest Martinez – Assistant Supt of Police:
vlcsnap-2013-05-31-19h47m45s224It’s a great help.  I would like to thank Kevin Wheatly from the Police Department of New Mexico for his donation, so my officers know when they’re on duty, on foot patrol or motorcycle patrol or mobile patrol, they will look professional. Their gun will be properly secured in the holster.  We have handcuff cases.  We have the duty belt.  We have vests that you’re going to see them around here in Belmopan

The workshop was held at the Belmopan Training Academy and concluded this evening.

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