Reports have been circulating that with the State of Emergency, the Police Commissioner would revert to 12-hour shifts. We asked him to clarify his position on this issue.
Chester Williams, Commissioner of Police: “I don’t know where you get twelve hours from, I don’t believe in twelve hours and we only go to twelve hours if the need really arise. At this time that is not in my contemplation. As it relates to police officers on the job I’ve said before that as police officers we’re a special breed of people and I say that because of the fact that when situations arise like this one we’re dealing with it is expected of us to do certain things and even though we know that we jeopardize our own lives and the lives of our loved ones we still come out and we perform exceptionally and that’s what separates police officers from ordinary people. So yes while our officers may have some concerns they come to work everyday upbeat with the spirit to do the job and I’m grateful for that but we also have a responsibility to them to ensure that we provide them with the necessary gear to be able to ensure that we protect them while performing their duties and as the commissioner I have been working diligently with my management team to ensure that we get for the officers the relevant PPEs that they need to keep them safe while at work that’s the least we can do for them and we’re doing that.”
With the COVID-19 crisis on our hands, the detention of known criminals that occurred last month has brought peace to Belize City as everyone is trying to cope. The detention, however, is only for 30 days which will expire within the State of Emergency period. Love News spoke with the Police Commissioner, Chester Williams on their release.
Chester Williams, Commissioner of Police: “As it relates to these persons who are detained under the previous state of emergency, I personally would not like to see them come out now and I will be asking the Prime Minister to extend the time at least until we have gotten over this COVID-19 situation and even after that or whenever it is decided that we are going to release them I would ask that there be one condition; that before they be released they must make a commitment to surrender their guns and we must get those guns first before they’re released and if it is that they do not agree to surrender those guns then we most go longer with them. They must also sign a contract that when they come out they’re going to display behaviors that are consistent with ordinary human beings and if it is that after they come out they go back to being monsters then we go back after them. It is time that we get the gang members to understand that the ordinary law abiding Belizeans have gotten enough and we must make a stand that if it is they want to live among us they must display behaviors that is consistent with rational human beings. So condition one, surrender all guns. Condition two, you sign a contract that you’re going to work with CYDP to ensure that this gang violence comes to an end in our country.”