In a previous newscast we told you of the one hundred and nine police officers being transferred in the Belize Police Department effective July 1, 2017. What we observed interestingly, is the movement of twelve officers from the Gang Suppression Unit but no transfers to replace the dozen being moved. Today, we asked both the Minister and Commissioner of Police to explain the rationale.
“Like I said there are changes taking place here, we are doing changes that we believe will impact on whatever is happening on the ground. The GSU I know a number of years back under Mr.Vidal, so we are looking at things to improve all of our units, not just GSU. You know we have MIT, we have the anti-narcotics unit so we are looking at as what is the best fit for us in the city and elsewhere so that is what we are working on.”
“Those are internal administrative things you must understand that transfers as the Minister indicated is a part of a police’s career. The new commander he has already been spoken to he will be tasked to identify a number of persons he would want to work with him. Additionally all those members will not be reassigned to the GSU simply because of the fact as the Minister alluded to we are going to create a special task force and so whilst we do not have additional recruits we will be taking people from different areas to be a part of that task force and so there will be cuts from the GSU as well as other units.”
What is also interesting is that fifty percent of those being transferred out of the Gang Suppression Unit are women. In November 2016, we had told you of the sexual harassment allegations made by four female officers in the GSU against members in the very same unit. It does beg the question as to whether the women are being penalized for making the reports or if their transfer is a part of the solution to the issue. According to the Commissioner, Allen Whylie, these transfers out of the GSU will be for the benefit of specialized units. Meanwhile, GSU Commander Glenn Caliz is also being moved out of the unit and will be reportedly replaced by inspector Andres Makin.