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Aragon discusses plans for the Professional Standards Branch

The Belize Police Department is seeking to do a lot more institutional improvements in the New Year. One area of focus says Minister of State in Home Affairs, Elodio Aragon Jr. is the Professional Standards Branch. Minister Aragon says they want to make that branch of the department more autonomous. This will allow Belizeans to visit the office to make complaints against officers directly to the investigators.

Elodio Aragaon Jr, Minister of Home Affairs

“We are also looking at the police department. This year we started with having Chester Williams at the Professional Standards Branch, we did this because it’s important for us to ensure that we have the confidence and trust of the public of the police department and we need to deal with those police officers who are corrupt and police officer’s wrongdoing out there and in 2018 we will also be seeing a rollout of new independent offices for professional standards branch across this country where police complaints will no longer be taken directly at the police station but rather at these independent stations which will be under the command of Chester Williams and his people. This is to ensure that we have greater trust and confidence from the public to make reports against police officers and these reports will be investigated thoroughly and where wrongdoing or any acts of corruption is there that will be dealt with. This is not to say the commanders on the ground at their specific formations won’t have their role to play in that, they will, and they will be dealing with discipline of their police officers etc. but to have an independent place for the public to make reports against police officers we believe it’s important, it is in the right direction for public confidence of the Belize Police Department and these things will come to happen in 2018.”

Minister Aragon says they have already identified spaces for offices in various districts and their aim is to open these in 2018.