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Jul 6, 2016

Chester Sets the Record Straight on Police and Media Relations

Chester Williams

Is there a falling-out between the media and the Belize Police Department?  On Monday, Assistant Commissioner of Police Chester Williams, during a routine press brief, was openly critical of our colleagues over at Channel Seven.  In fact, ACP Williams went as far as saying that the managing director of that particular media house is of the archaic notion that if it bleeds it leads.  That blistering criticism prompted Seven News Director Jules Vasquez to respond to Williams during his newscast on Tuesday.  Today, we asked Williams to clear the air on that exchange.

 

ACP Chester Williams, Commander, Eastern Division South

“The manager of Channel Seven is the manager of a media house and I must say a very prominent media house in Belize City and they cover not only the city but across the country and I do believe that as a media house he has the ability to respond and he did.  I am taking no offense to the response that he did.  I believe it is something fit that he saw fit to have done and I respect the fact that he responded to whatever has been said by myself and I don’t want it to come across as if there is a fight between myself or the police department and any media house because you all would know that myself in particular have tried my utmost best to have a very good working relationship with the media because I understand the dynamics of what we’re dealing with in terms of how we police the city, particularly south side Belize City and I understand the importance of working with the media.  I will never try to stifle the media in any way, shape or form because as I have always said, the public does have a right to information and the information that the public is entitled to or have a right to, those information are normally provided to them through the media.  The media is the vehicle by which the public gets those information and as a police department we cannot be seen to be stifling the media or to work in isolation of the media because that will come across as if we are hiding something and we want to be transparent in everything that we do.  So I respect Mr. Vasquez’s response last night and I have said from last week that I would have held a workshop with all the media houses in Belize City because I can see where there is some degree of tension between some factions of the media and the police and I do not think it’s a healthy thing for us to have between us.  So I have said from last week that we would have the workshop.”

 

That media workshop is scheduled for Thursday morning at ten o’clock at the Raccoon Street Police Station.

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Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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