Caye Caulker Police Sergeant Raymond Barry told me more about the Cadet program which the police will start again soon. Cadets learn manners and basic respect for elders that many of them aren’t learning at home. Cadets keep on high alert for people who lure kids into sex and drugs. They watch that girls not get drawn away by strangers. They watch that kids not stay out late at night or stray into what Sergeant Barry calls “hot spots” where drug dealers operate. They report suspicious behavior to police who are also on high alert.
Sergeant Barry gained some of his experience in Belize City, which has one of the highest crime rates per capita in the world. There tourists themselves should be on high alert too. Police advise them not to go out after 9 pm and to walk only in the busy streets. If they want to go to places that they do not know well, or go out at night, they should take a car or a licensed cab. Most Belize City residents already take these precautions. They stay relatively safe if they avoid connections to gang members who are responsible for most of the crime. Unfortunately, many in Belize City are co-opted by gangs that offer protection, at the price of silence about gang activities.
As Christians we can help police & cadets by keeping watch over over our neighborhoods. By encouraging parents & older kids to watch over younger ones. By engaging family members in discipleship. By promoting family values. By bringing Jesus to addicts and alcoholics. He is the way to freedom. Jesus died to give us all new life. This Easter, be on the watch for signs of His life around you as well as signs of danger. For He says, “In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world” (John 16:33).
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