There is a major change coming in the Belize Police Department. As we reported last week, Deputy Commissioner of Police, Dezerie Magdaleno is retiring in September, leaving her position vacant. According to Police Commissioner, Chester Williams, the Eastern Division, currently under the command of Assistant Commissioner of Police, Howell Gillett, will be taken over by Senior Superintendent of Police, Hilberto Romero. Gillett, who was appointed to the post less than eight months ago, will be taking over as the Officer Commanding Community Policing Nationally. Here’s how ComPol Williams, explained the changes.
Chester Williams, Commissioner, Belize Police Department: “We are making some changes. We have retirement in the pipeline. Deputy Commissioner Magadaleno is retiring and she goes on pre-retirement leave in September and so with that we will see ACP Aaaron Guzman take over as Deputy Commissioner Commander Administration. Mr. Gillett as you know is a community policing enthusiast and with that he would take over from Aaron Guzman as officer commanding community policing, nationally and Mr. Hilberto Romero who was once at CIB Eastern Division and currently is the Deputy National Crimes Investigation Branch will move over to Eastern Division as the new Commander. We’ll see Mr. Jones coming in from Dangriga and will take over as the Deputy in CIB and Mr. Murrillo, who is the Commandant at the academy, will go to Dangriga as the OC Dangriga. Those are some of the changes we are seeing right now. Again, we have to make adjustments when we do have retirements and put our people in areas where they are best fitted in order to be able to get maximum results from them.”
Williams added that he has high expectations in Belize City for Senior Superintendent of Police Romero despite the cop not previously holding command of any of the divisions in the country.
Chester Williams, Commissioner, Belize Police Department: “What we need in Eastern Division is a delicate balance. You can’t have a commander who focuses only on community policing. You have to have a commander that looks at community policing and the operation aspect of policing because at the end of the day it cannot be that you’re just looking at the soft side and then you just have the criminals doing what they want and you have no strategy to deal with them. So you have to ensure that you strike a delicate balance in dealing with both community policing and the operations aspect of policing to be able to hold those persons who may want to commit crime or who may commit crime accountable for their actions. So I believe that Mr. Romero will be able to strike that balance. We have two good deputies, Mr. Noble is good community policing wise and operational wise and Mr. Reyes is exceedingly well operationally so I foresee that the three of them together is going to be a good fit for Eastern Division.”