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Belize Security Agencies Go High Tech

Belize Security Agencies Go High Tech
October 25
19:43 2019

Belmopan, October 17, 2019

Belize law enforcement and other security agencies now have a state-of-the-art, joint communications platform to share information immediately and securely to fight crime and protect our borders.

The new Joint Interagency Information Security System (JIISS) is tailored to meet Belize’s needs. The Ministry of National Security developed the communications software platform in house, in collaboration with the Central Information Technology Office (CITO) and KYN Consulting, who provided technical support. It will allow the Belize Defence Force to coordinate joint operations with the National Coast Guard, but the Ministry has further plans to include the Police Department in the network. It is a timely addition to the security forces’ arsenal to counter the persistent challenge of drug traffickers making unauthorized aircraft landings on Belize’s deserted rural roads.

The Ministry invited the press to witness the implementation of the new system at the Ministry’s headquarters, the Curl Thompson building in Belmopan last Thursday morning, October 17

The system gathers information of any suspicious or illegal activity, giving precise locations with geographic coordinates, as it allows Police patrols out in the field to communicate with their base, where commanders will be able to make strategic decisions based on real time information.

KYN’s software developer Maurice Rogers explained that the system has several levels of security, because it uses devices which can only be accessed with biometric authentication, like fingerprint or facial recognition, just like the latest smartphones. The communications will also be encrypted, to prevent hacking or any unauthorized eavesdropping by the criminals which the security forces are seeking to apprehend. The computer servers which store and handle this information will also be housed at a remote, secure facility.

The Ministry’s Chief Executive Officer Felix Enriquez explained that they have had to step up their game in the use of technology, to counter sophisticated law breakers who have also gone high-tech. Thus the Ministry has formed a Drone Unit, whose personnel have been trained in the use of drones for aerial surveillance and patrols along our borders. The Unit is presently evaluating different drones, some available commercially off the shelf, and some which have been provided by international security partners, to determine which model best meets our needs.

Satellite imagery is another tool which the Ministry will use to augment the information obtained by the drones, Enriquez explained. The satellite images will be much more detailed than Google maps, allowing law enforcement to detect any changes on the ground, such as a plot of land which has been cleared to plant marijuana, or illegal logging operations, or advance preparations for the landing of a drug plane. Satellite imagery also has the advantage that it can be infra-red, allowing the BDF to “see in the dark” from 250 miles up in space!

Enriquez said that by providing real-time information to help law enforcement know where and when to deploy its patrols and in what strength, the new system will help the ministry to achieve its goal of protecting Belizean citizens, protecting our country’s natural resources, and the maintaining Belize’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.

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