Names of police officers who have served for five years and more in the department are being collected for submission to the Commissioner of Police. The list is comprised of police officers who do not yet own a piece of land but are interested in acquiring one. A message from the Commissioner of Police is asking officers to submit their rank and where they would prefer the piece of land by no later than Friday, May fourteen. According to Home Affairs Minister Kareem Musa, his ministry has been working along with the Ministry of Natural Resources to implement this program as an incentive for police officers who will be receiving the ten percent pay cut. Some officers are interpreting the program as a bribe but Minister Musa says that is not the case.
Kareem Musa, Minister of Home Affairs: “That is something that I have been working along with the Deputy Prime Minister the Honorable Kordel Hyde. As you know along with all the other public officers they are experiencing a ten percent cut and it’s extremely difficult and so we have to find incentives especially for all the front line workers and of course other public officers so that is something that I have requested of the Deputy Prime Minister and it’s something that we are working on to get first time land owners who have been in the department serving over five years to get them a piece of land so that is one of the incentives that like I said I’ve been working along with the Deputy Prime Minister and hopefully in the upcoming months we’ll be able to fulfill that promise. “
Reporter: You use the word incentive, some police officers in the department are using the word bribe, as a bribe for them not to make noise with the other unions.
Kareem Musa, Minister of Home Affairs: “I’ve never heard that one there, never yet. That’s the first time so I don’t know where that is coming from but ever since the discussion about the ten percent cut even before it came into effect that is something that I as the minister have been advocating for and so there’s never been any threat in my mind of police officers striking. I think they realize the economic turmoil that we were left in. I think they realize the pandemic has had a debilitating effect on our economy and they realize how essential they are in the country of Belize to fight crime and so I don’t see anybody ever saying that that’s some sort of bribe. So that’s the first I’m hearing that. It’s an incentive like I said in order to try to fill that void of the ten percent.”