Belize Police Senior Officers Train to Improve Media Relations

Belize Police Senior Officers Train to Improve Media Relations

Today, senior officers within the Belize Police Department embarked on a two-day training to improve the department’s communication with the media. The initiative sought to sensitize the officers on public relations and communicating with members of the media. The venture, according to the Commissioner of Police, seeks to improve the relationship between the department and the media. ComPol Williams spoke on what sparked the initiative and its importance. 

Chester Williams, Commissioner of Police: “Yes we did have a media training this morning with our senior command and the objective again is to sensitize our senior command in terms of how to work with the media, responding to the questions from the media and the likes. As you all know we’re not hostile to the media, we try as best as we can to be friendly with you all even when you become a pain in our butts we don’t reciprocate in like manner. We try to be calm. So we’re hoping that from this training we’ll find that our officers are going to be able to respond to the media in a much more better manner. The time where the police run from the media needs to come to an end. We want our commanders across the country to be able to represent their respective areas when it comes to giving interviews to the media so that’s the direction we’re trying to go.”

Reporter: But you also see the media as an essential partner in peacekeeping in the country.
Chester Williams, Commissioner of Police: “Certainly yes the media has a very important role to play and we could never downplay the role of the media and I think that’s the reason you all behave the way you behave at times because you know that we value your support, value your input. You do a lot of bad but you also do a lot of good and we are more grateful for the good you do as opposed to the bad. We forgive you for the bad.”

Senior Superintendent of Police Azenette Pook, the BPD’s Director of Training, spoke about what the training entailed and how it aims to improve the BPD’s overall communication skills. 

Azenette Pook, Senior Superintendent of Police, Director of Training: “First they are expected to be trained on the challenges to communication. Why communicate ? Building communications and listening skills, appreciating the interpersonal nature of communication, the multiplier effect in mass communication. These are some of the subjects that they have been taught for the first half of the training. Tomorrow we are having training on how the media works and successfully engaging the media. What the media expects, working with key media tools, appreciating the challenges to mass communication, preparing for a media interview and using key messages to handle tough or difficult media interviews. So these are some of the subjects that Mrs. Haylock is teaching them during these two days.”

The training is being facilitated by Daedra Isaacs Haylock at the Police Training Academy in Belmopan.

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