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Dec 30, 2015

Chester Williams Named ‘Man of the Year’

It isn’t exactly mainstream news or a riveting item, but Chester Williams has been named the man of the year by the Amandala Newspaper. Williams returned from law school earlier this year and was placed in charge of the very volatile Southside of the city, always an iffy prospect with the very active gangs which are constantly battling for turf and notoriety. Traditionally, in those areas the police have been known to fight fire with fire, but Williams says that he doesn’t believe in doing things that way.

 

Chester Williams

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

“The first thing that we did was to try to have a different approach to how we deal with these young persons who are caught up in the criminal justice system. It is our belief that when we treat them like animals and criminals then they behave in such a way. We try to show them a more human aspect of policing. We try to police from a community policing standpoint. We police with compassion. We always try to put ourselves in the shoes of those who are perpetrating crimes and think if we were in their shoes how would we like to be treated. Secondly, we went intensely on community policing. I believe that community policing is the way to go. We can no longer police in a vacuum where the Police believe that full-scale policing will solve the societal ills. It will not solve the societal ills. It will make it worse. So we have to police with the community in mind and let the community be the ones to tell us what we can do for them to make them feel safe, because they know their ills more than we do. Another component was the intervention teams. I must say that these young persons have gained such trust and confidence in myself and the intervention team that if they should hear of any of their rival gang members planning something against them, they would come to us. We would call in both groups. We sit down, they hash out their problems and we move on from there. That has helped significantly in the reduction of crime that we are now enjoying on Southside Belize City today.”

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