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Dismissal of Police officers Affecting Department’s Operations

Earlier this year, it was reported that more than one hundred and fifty police officers were dismissed from the Belize Police Department for varying infractions. That number has steadily increased, putting the Department’s active staff at less than two thousand. Police Commissioner Chester Williams says that this shortfall is having a significant impact on the department.  

Chester Williams, Commissioner of Police: “We have dismissed a number of officers and our recruitment is not growing as fast as the dismissals and it is crippling our human resources. In the past you find that Commissioners were afraid to dismiss because you di lose manpower. But it cannot be that we are going to keep people on the job being paid by the public purse who are not functioning the way they should and so I don’t share that view. If you’re not functioning as you should then go. I’d rather work with ten persons who are giving their all than to work with 100 and 90 of them are not doing what they should and it’s with that spirit that I operate. I am optimistic that we will start the new recruit training very shortly and get our numbers up and I’m hoping that when that is done we can do another because by the time that training is done, we would have dismissed another amount of officers and apart from dismissals, we also have officers who are on interdiction. A number of officers are on interdiction so our figures, while our figures reflect 2,033 our actual figures on the job is like around 1,600.” 

Reporter: Are police officers paid poorly?

Chester Williams, Commissioner of Police: “No I don’t think so. Police officers are one of the best paid civil servants in this country. It is not where we would want it to be but certainly, we are one of the best paid civil servants.”