Today, the Minister of Home Affairs and New Growth Industries Kareem Musa was in the Cayo District where he concluded his countrywide tour of police formations. The minister’s tour began last Monday in the north and saw himself and the Commissioner of Police Chester Williams visit the islands and the southernmost regions of the country. Our Cayo Correspondents Elaine Berry and Eliu Yacab spoke to Minister Musa about the tour and the feedback he has received from the department.
Kareem Musa, Minister of Home Affairs: “This week I had the pleasure of joining the good police officers of the San Ignacio, Santa Elena and even the regional formations even from the San Antonio Village to be here today as part of the tour. And the reason why such a tour is important is because it gives me as the minister the opportunity to hear the challenges, the obstacles, the issues that our officers are facing on a daily basis and to see how we can assist as a government to alleviate some of those issues. And so many of the issues that we’re hearing range from the vaccination concerns as you saw we had the Ministry of Health personnel here today to educate and to inform those members of the department who have not taken the vaccine. I am pleased to learn that as much as 60% of our officers here in San Ignacio/Santa Elena have received the first jab so I’m very proud of that and I commend them for that. We see where the numbers of vaccinated officers are increasing across the country. I think we’re now approaching 50% of all our officers and so in addition to that we gave the officers the opportunity to say what has been on their mind in terms of their welfare and we as a government, I as the minister, I have given them my undertaking that will do whatever we can with the limited resources available to see what we can do to alleviate some of those issues. So it’s a very important exercise, it gives me as a minister the opportunity to engage on a one on one basis and that is extremely important because those in the rank and file must have the confidence and the trust that those who are on top are looking out for their best interest. So that is essentially the essence of what is taking place on in this national tour. You know with all the frenzy going on right now and the bad press that the police department has been receiving I have to give kudos and credit to Love FM. They’ve been at all the locations that we’ve been because this is something positive that the officers get to engage with their minister on a one on one basis and not every time it’s about the sensational sometimes it’s about covering what is good about our society, what is good about our department so I want to thank you all for covering all of these visits that we’ve been having.”
Commissioner of Police Chester Williams says the minister’s tour served as a sign of the government’s commitment to elevating the police department.
Chester Williams, Commissioner of Police: “As police officers we’re grateful to see we have a minister who is pretty much interested in the work that we do. A minister who is trying his best to hear the concerns of officers and at the same time despite the very difficult financial times we’re in is doing his utmost best to find resources for the police officers to be able to function at optimal level. And so we are grateful for the visit of the minister today in San Ignacio. We’ll be going from Benque from here and again the process continues where the minister continues to listen to the concerns of officers and between him, myself and the CEO we answer questions and give reassurance to officers in terms of resources that they may need to be able to do their job.”
The minister concluded his tour of the Police Formation with a visit and subsequent meeting with the Benque Viejo Police Officers where a little over fifty Police Officers assembled to listen to addresses by medical officers about COVID-19.