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Aug 28, 2014

Elections held for Police Association

Douglas Hyde

You may not be aware of it, but there is a body entrusted with looking after the rights of Police Officers countrywide – from the rank of constable all the way to sergeant. It’s sort of like a union within the Police Department, complete with an executive body. We don’t hear much about it, really, and reports from inside the Department is that it is has been largely ineffectual…primarily, we are told, because of pressure and intimidation from the highest ranks. Still, there is an Association, and elections were held today to fill three vacant spots – vacant because the officers who held those posts were recently promoted. Polling areas were set up at precincts and stations countrywide.  News Five was at Precinct Two this morning as PR Coordinator Douglas Hyde explained the election.

 

Douglas Hyde, PR Coordinator, Eastern Division

“Across the country we are having bye-elections for the three vacancies for the Police Association, and this is carried out at each Police Station within the country, but specifically in Belize District and city we are using the precincts so each precinct has a voting station, and in terms of the rural areas they will be in the stations likewise.”

 

Reporter

“Tell me a little bit about the Police Association. For those who have never heard about it, what is it and what is its role?”

 

Douglas Hyde

“The Police Association is a body that represents all the police officers from constables to sergeants…they look at all the issues affecting them, the concerns, and the body itself takes these concerns directly to the Commissioner. They play that role of also looking at the welfare and also looking at all the issues that affect them on a day to day basis, and this happens nationally.”

 

Reporter

“For some persons who would ask if the Association has any teeth in actually looking out the welfare of its officers, how is it structured?”

 

Douglas Hyde

“It is an arm that looks out for the welfare of Police officers, but it also gives the opportunity for Police officers to address their concerns directly to the Commissioner who will definitely look at these concerns from a national standpoint. Yes there may be some concerns in the past, and I know more and more the Association looks at the clause that helps protect them, likewise in terms of the best interests of the Police officers that they serve within the Association.”

 

Ten persons from across the country are vying for the vacant positions for two sergeants and one constable. Voting closed at three p.m. today. 

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