Under the previous commissioner of Police Allen Whylie, the police department had instituted a 12-hour shift for the Belize District. But the hours of work are shifting again after some officers had spoken of the quality of life issues, since they had little time with families after working special duties to make ends meet. Today, Commissioner Chester Williams met with officers while doing a tour of the Queen Street Police Station and gave them a lengthy sermon about the hours of work. Love News spoke to Deputy Commissioner of Police Edward Broaster who says that the department will now revert back to the eight-hour shift for the Belize District.
DCP Edward Broaster Commander of Operations: “ The 12 hour shift- you work four days and you get four days off and you work the twelve hours but what the Commissioner has found was that there were officers who after 12 midnight would be sleeping in different parts of the city leaving themselves vulnerable to be robbed or harmed and hence the reason why they decided that it is only right and fair to look at the eight hour shift system where we would have reduction of officers sleeping on duty. We are just aprising them of the changes that has been made since the new Commissioner took over the department and where different senior officers have been posted to various command and we are also discussing the eight and twelve hour shift system for which I believe the Commissioner has made a decision to revert back to the eight hour shift system.
Reporter: “The reason for reverting back to the eight hour shift system?
DCP Edward Broaster Commander of Operations: “We believe that the eight hour shift system will give more value for money and the officers will be more alert during an eight hour period than the twelve hour period. It was miscommunication and the Commissioner of Police just addressed that they thought that they would have been working seven days and getting two days off but in actual fact they will be working 5 days and getting 2 days off.”
Jose Sanchez: “ In relation to the eight hours how does this affect the officers doing what they call extra duties working at different establishments, is there a limit set on the time for that as well?”
DCP Edward Broaster Commander of Operations: “Well you see that is another problem that we were experiencing where officers after working 12 hours and working special duty so working you eight hour shift you will have more time to work special duty and get some well needed rest to serve the public. This is a decision that was made by the Commissioner of Police and we have one Commissioner at a time and he strongly believes that we will get more value for our money so we will be reverting back to the eight hour shift.”
The officers will now work 5 days and have two days off.