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Top Cop Launches Community ‘Clinic’

Top Cop Launches Community ‘Clinic’
February 01
16:09 2019 - REPORTER NEWSPAPER - Feb. 1st. - 

This morning, at the Raccoon Street Police Station, Commissioner Chester Williams opened his Belize City office to any and all who would want to meet with him to discuss matters of concern to them.

The media was invited to speak to the ComPol as he stepped into his office for the first time, even as persons lined up in the lobby of the Police Station to keep appointments they had made to meet with him.

“The main reason for the office is one, to make sure that there is easy access to members of the public who may have grievances against the Police, or have ideas that they want to give to the Commissioner of Police, as well as to Police Officers who may have welfare issues that they may want the Police to address,” Williams explained.

The opening of the office is a promise made by Williams shortly after he took over as Commissioner on January 9th, with the very sudden forced retirement of then ComPol Allen Whylie. While Whylie was widely seen as somebody who shunned the media and the public and was largely inaccessible, Williams has taken a decidedly different tack.

He told those gathered in his office today that he will maintain an open door policy and easy accessibility, and since Belize City is the country’s hub with the largest population, he decided on opening the office at Raccoon Street.

Belizeans, be they civilians or Police Officers, will be able to make appointments to meet with Williams on Wednesdays. The ComPol will then determine on a course of action. If it is something that needs to be handled at a local commander level, then he will pass it on, since he explained today that he has no intention of micro-managing. Rather, he told us, the move has a lot to do with rebuilding trust and confidence in the Police.

There has been some criticism of the opening of the office on a weekly basis, by those who are very familiar with the nature of the ‘clinics’ that have become synonymous with politicking. Williams says it has absolutely nothing to do with that – “No matter what you do in life there will always be persons who have negative things to say. I am not here for the purpose of pleasing those persons who may want to spew negativity. I know the reason for my office in Belize City and I am going to stick to that,” he explained.

According to Williams, the function of the office will do nothing to take away the responsibilities of the Professional Standards Branch or the Civilian Complaint Review Committee, recently formed.

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