On the heels of bringing out the story of a demand from the powers that be in Belmopan to have the 9-hour shift for police officers revert to the 12-hour shift, Love News learnt that Assistant Commissioner of Police Chester Williams was placed on administrative leave. ACP Williams is the Commander for the Eastern Division South and had made the executive decision to have his officers work the traditional 9 hours as opposed to 12 hours. This did not bode well with his superiors and that was what led to the decision to place him on leave. While we did get confirmation from the Ministry of Home Affairs via a release that ACP Williams was placed on one week leave. Today, however, he was out at the courthouse prosecuting the case against William Mason when we asked him for an update.
“Well you see me here today which means that I am working.”
“But you are in place as the commander of Southside?”
“Yes I am the commander of south side Belize City.”
“Now my police officers I am in contact with say that they remain on the eight hour shift, is that right? Does the eight hour experiment continues?”
“Yes it continues, the commissioner has ordered a consultation survey in respect to the matter and when the survey is done he will make a final determination from then.”
ACP Williams went on to say that all is well between him and the Commissioner of Police, Allen Whylie.
“The commissioner is the commissioner and he has that authority and if he thinks that that was something he could have done I support the commissioner in what he did. The matter was discussed in Belmopan yesterday and it has been settled and I think that should be the end of the matter. There is no winner or loser in the situation and I do not want anyone to think that there is a beef between the commissioner and myself. The commissioner is the commissioner he is my boss and I respect him and like I said we dealt with the matter yesterday and we’ve moved on from there.”
While the 9-hour shift remains intact for now and the survey is ongoing within the department, ACP Williams remains resolute that the 9-hour system is more effective.
“I guess you can be the judge of that. There are many studies out there that have shown after eight hours the human body begins to go down so yes we are hoping that the eight hours will yield better results and more alert officers on the beat.”