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May 25, 2016

Counseling to be Provided for Traumatized Colleagues

Chester Williams

That counseling is sorely needed by officers who deal with long hours at a very difficult job. The suicide and attempted suicide this week highlight the need. But there’s some dissent as to where that help should come from. Two of the Belize District’s top cops are of two completely different minds when it comes to therapy for the men and woman in uniform.

 

ACP Chester Williams, Regional Commander, Eastern Division South

“I am of the view that our Department has grown so huge, and I think that the police Department is the largest organization in the public service, bigger than the B.D.F. and bigger than the Coast Guard. The only organization bigger than us are the teachers. I feel that we have grown to the extent that we should be able to have our own in-house counselors, and I think that what we need to do is look seriously at how we can achieve this, to have at least one at each of the different regions within the Police Department. While we do have the Employee Assistance Program, and it is a good idea and a good initiative, I feel that if we have our own in-house counselors, our officers will be more used to those persons and they’ll be more willing to open up to those persons rather than having to go somewhere else. I think that while this is working we do need to look at getting our own in-house counselors to be able to address our officers’ needs.”

 

Edward Broaster

ACP Edward Broaster, Regional Commander, Rural Eastern Division

“The Employee Assistance program as it is right now is working excellently. I think that the confidentiality and the environment that it is done in at this time is excellent and it works for Police Officers. Like we said earlier anytime we recognize a problem with a Police officer or a Police Officer comes and says they need assistance that assistance is rendered to them immediately, so I don’t see any change in that at this time.”

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