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Every Police Officer Answerable to the Commissioner

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But these are not the only concerns that continue to bother the Muslim community. Allegations of police officers and or units within the department that seemingly act without having to respond to anyone in the department’s high command continue to be of grave concern. Here is how Nuri Muhammad explained it.

Nuri Muhammad – Member, Managing Committee

“Statements made today by Minister Elrington brought a bit of cool if I can use that term, a bit of cool water into the atmosphere that was very hot and very hostile when the meeting started and I think it was because of some of the examples he gave and one of the examples he gave is the fact that there are units within the Security Department that really does not answer to even the minister. There are I don’t want to use the term rouge because these individual units apparently believe that they have the go ahead of some higher authority. If it is not the Prime Minster, if it is not the minister of National Security then I don’t know who exactly is giving the orders but what I heard today form Minster Elrington is that he as a member of Cabinet is aware that within the region there are conversations going on regarding security measures and that these concerns are sometimes being addressed by units within the Police Department and Its obvious to me from what he said that some of these units operate without even being under the check and balance of the authorities meaning the commissioner as well as the Minster of Police. “

 

Minister Elrington said that no officer is above the law.

 

Wilfred Elrington – Minister of Home Affairs

“First of all we know that there are people in the Police Force who really, really should not be in there because they really necessarily don’t comply with the law. First point I made that clear to members of the Police Force too and we are taking steps to deal with that. That is being dealt with; that is first order of business. Second point I made and I think this is where the man got confused. That personnel in our Police Force as well as personnel in our Defense Force get training all over the world with differentforces. So they get training ;Chile for example, they will get training the Caribbean, they will get training in the United Kingdom, they will get training in the United States, a lot of them get training in the United States. So, I personally do not know all the places they get trained at and the nature and extent of the training that’s what I said very clearly but I also went on to say very, very clearly that in fact no Police Officer can act on instructions other than that given by his CEO or the Commissioner of Police because we control the Police Force. No other country can tell us how to act in terms of our Police force. There is no Police Officer who has any authority and any responsibility to take any instructions from anybody other than the Belize Police Senior Command.”

Reporter

“But are you satisfied that all Police units are answerable to at least the Commissioner of Police?”

Wilfred Elrington – Minister of Home Affairs

“Every single one should be without exception and that is a responsibility which we are tasking the Commissioner to ensure that nothing happens outside of his watch. He must be responsible because the buck stops with him.”

Today’s meeting took place at the Masjid Al Falah at the corner of Central American Boulevard and Fabers Road.

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