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January 11
10:40 2019

By: Neri O. Briceño

I will start by first offering my congratulation to the new Commissioner of Police, Chester Williams. The appointment of Chester to this high position is one that the nation badly needed, because in 2019 enforcing the laws through the eye of a trained attorney is far more effective that through the eyes of those who have moved up through the ranks just because of experience.

No disrespect intended, just a fact. Commissioner Williams by my estimation has the most difficult job in Belize at this point in time. He takes over a department that is short on success, low on resources, abhorred by a large portion of the population, festering with corrupt officers at every level and divided from within. This is no easy task since there are many that would like to see the new Commissioner fail, starting with the criminals, some members of the public, some politicians and others within his own department who are simply not his fans.

He is now tasked with bringing swift and visible success to the largest problem in the nation and one that not even the highest office in the nation has been able to solve. That is the lowering of the crime rate in Belize. However, apart from this he additionally has to create a positive image of the Police Department, weed out corruption, create a more effective and efficient department and at the same time stop those planes from landing.

What we can expect is the following. Expect Chester to make some mistakes – the man is human and not perfect. This national crisis was not created overnight, so do not expect the man to wave his magic wand and all becomes well. He is no Dumbledore of Hogwarts. We need to have patience but at the same time not that much patience that he gets a pass. We ask for nothing less than justice, fairness and equality in all aspects of the law. Preferential treatment of Asian businessmen by the Police Department has to stop and we expect that social standing as it relates to treatment under the law will be the same. If the rich can be treated with powdered white gloves, then so can the poor.

But the biggest challenge to new Commissioner Williams will be the political directorate. While as a people we understand the dynamics that politics plays in any democracy as it relates to the position of Commissioner of Police in any civilized nation, we expect the new Commissioner to rise above petty Belizean politics and do what is just and right. We have become tired of political rag dolls in high positions who are at the beck and call of the politicians and cherish their jobs so much that they will do anything under the sun to protect it. Commissioner Williams can be the initial lighting rod to put a stop to this.

But what we must realize as a nation is that all our problems cannot simply be left at the doorsteps of the Commissioner. As citizens we too have a part to play and it starts with every individual citizen. If you hate crime, then do not tolerate it. That includes from within our own families and from our children. While Chester is the Commissioner, we cannot possibly expect him to instill morals, civic pride and respect in our children. That is our job. What he ultimately needs is our support to make his job easier. While we would like no child or teen left behind, we cannot continue to beg and plead with those from the underworld to hold the peace and actually pay them to do it. If laws are broken and crime is committed, we expect those responsible to pay the price.

The mass killing of an entire generation of teens has to stop and the Police and new Commissioner Williams have to be the head of the spear to combat this and we expect nothing less. Will Chester do well? I honestly believe he will. Besides the situation is so bad that any visible change will be a plus and something I am sure he is able to do. What I want to reemphasize is that the Police Department and the new Commissioner need the support of us, the citizenry. Will we hold them to task when they make missteps? The simple answer is yes. But we cannot expect them to do everything, because we have to do our part.

It’s all about the people!

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