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Traffic wardens sworn in as Special Constables

GeneralTraffic wardens sworn in as Special Constables

After a two-week training exercise, several members of
the Traffic Department in various parts of the country
were sworn in as Special Constables.

By Charles Gladden

BELMOPAN, Fri. June 17, 2022

During the closing ceremonies of a two-week training exercise coordinated by the Department of Transport and hosted at the National Police Training Academy, a number of traffic wardens from various municipalities throughout the country who had participated in the training were sworn in as Special Constables.

The key subject areas covered during the training session were the Belize Constitution, Criminal Liability, Power of Search, Observation and Perception, Method of Search—all of which were aimed at equipping traffic officers with a skill set that will expand their roles as law enforcement officers serving their respective municipality.

Dian Vasquez, Chief Transport Officer for the Department of Transport, noted that the authority held by traffic officers is similar to that of police officers, except that it is used solely to address traffic infractions and violations.

“Our wardens do have a similar power of a police officer, but our wardens enforce traffic infractions mainly, and so we thought it very prudent if we would have them undergo a Special Constable training that would basically amplify their effectiveness as law-enforcing officers. And so it would not only be that they would only focus on traffic violations or traffic infractions but have this additional training authority bestowed on them now, they could execute effectively while doing these checkpoints,” said Vasquez.

During the closing ceremonies, Hon. Rodwell Ferguson, Minister of Transport, remarked, “Only the police can arrest, and again don’t take advantage of any opportunity that is given to you, because when we feel like we have all the power, then we say how and what we want. You must always use your discretion and apply your power to the best of your ability, because we are all citizens of this country and we all have our own rights as human beings.”

“I have had numerous requests for Special Constable, but it’s not everybody who can be given that responsibility, because it’s a huge responsibility, but you have been chosen to attend this two-week course and you have been successful in the course and now you have this responsibility. And remember, with this responsibility you are now held [to] a higher standard,” Hon. Oscar Mira, area representative for Belmopan, told the newly appointed special constables.

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