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Nov 3, 2015

Police Ramp Up Vigilance on Election Day

Sr. Supt. Chester Williams

There has been escalating tension in the days leading up to the 2015 General Election. There’s the vandalism of signs, aggression by supporters from both parties and then there are criminals, who take the opportunity to rob or burglarize homes during these events. But on Wednesday as residents make their way to the polls to cast the deciding votes for a new administration, their safety is the top priority for the officers of the Belize Police Department. So how prepared are they? Well Senior Superintendent Chester Williams says that the Eastern Division North and South will be operating in full force along with assistance from the Special Patrol Unit, the Gang Suppression Unit and the Mobile Interdiction Team.

 

Sr. Supt. Chester Williams, Regional Commander, Eastern Division South

“For members of political parties who are contesting the election to be responsible adults and if you see another person’s sign in an area, the lamppost is big enough and can accommodate more than one, two or three signs. And there is no need for one to want to put their sign over another person’s sign. So we continue to monitor that, but as I have said also, we do not have time to be chasing those types of things. We have bigger things to deal with. In terms of our preparations for tomorrow, I will say that myself and Miss Phillips, who are the two commanders in Eastern Division, we have met with our officers on south and north side of Belize City and we have explained to them what their roles and functions are as it relates to election duties because at the end of the day, we want to ensure that persons who go out to vote, that they can go and exercise their franchise without being impeded by any persons who may want to commit or perpetrate any criminal act against them. Unlike nomination day, all our police officers will be working; there will be no day-offs. Those officers on day-offs and those on short leave will be recalled back to duty. So on that day, we will be at full strength and each and every polling station will have its own compliment of officers. And separate and apart from that, the ordinary relief duties being conducted by respective precincts on both south and north side, Belize City will be working as routine, meaning that they will be out there covering the various hotspots that they normally cover. And we will be having as well, mobile patrols in the various hotspots and around the polling areas. In addition to that, we will be having officers from the GSU, officers from the Special Patrol Unit and the MIT, who will come in to assist us in order for us to be able to put out more vehicle patrol to cover the city as much as we can. As I have said before, we do not want anyone to go out to vote and become the victim of a crime. And those persons who we know have the propensity of committing crime, we will be monitoring them and when need arise, we will target them as well.”

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