Belize Police Department Seeks to Increase Officer Numbers
The Belize Police Department (BPD) is working to increase it numbers and provided additional boots on the ground across the country. The Briceno Administration in its Plan-Belize manifesto had stated that it would be aiming to increase the department’s numbers to four thousand officers. So far, the BPD’s population remains above two thousand two hundred officers, despite recruitment exercises. The Commissioner of Police, Chester Williams, explained that the BPD loses officers every year due to various factors and says that the upcoming recruitment exercise will aid in increasing their numbers.
Chester Williams, Commissioner of Police: “We are an evolving department. We’re in the process of transformation. And that transformation certainly requires that we do things differently and those officers who are not able to keep up with the trend or where we want to go, then certainly we have to part ways with them. But apart from dismissals, we do have a high attrition rate of resignation, persons who are retiring, persons going off medically unfit, etc. So the numbers are really hard to maintain. We’re trying to reach at least 2,600 by the end of this year but I don’t doubt we’ll be able to achieve that. Squad 97 should be 250, so it’s going to be bigger than this one and we believe that with that squad it will put us close to the 2,600 number that we’re trying to reach at this time. We have concluded the examination and I think we’re three quarter away with the interviews and the vetting has also commenced. So we believe that by the end of August we should have Squad 97 in training.”