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Jan 17, 2019

Breaking Down Whylie’s Tenure as ComPol

Allen Whylie

Allen Whylie held back nothing on Wednesday in his farewell statement to the Belize Police Department in which he departed from the usual niceties on such occasions. Whylie confirmed that he had been pushed out abruptly and that the decision to retire him was delivered on the same day he was to go. The ex-ComPol also went after those who he felt had wronged him during his tenure as head of the department. And to put to rest claims that he was ineffective in crime fighting, Whylie outlined measures he took. Here is Isani Cayetano with that report.

 

Isani Cayetano, Reporting

Former Commissioner of Police Allen Whylie retired to private life on January eighth, albeit against his wishes of riding off into the sunset on his own terms.  The career law enforcement officer took up the baton from his predecessor in January 2013, on the heels of the most murderous year in Belize’s history.  Since then, he has fought an uphill battle in attempting to curb an ever-increasing crime rate.  Whylie’s efforts, despite the seemingly endless criticism he faced as ComPol, were, at best, a mixed bag.  Crime fighting measures were introduced during his tenure that actually worked, but there were also others that weren’t as effective in arresting the bane that continues to affect all Belizeans.

 

Allen Whylie, Former Commissioner of Police

“I developed and introduced precinct police to Belize which continues today.  I developed and established the concept of regional commands to improve supervision, accountability and services which are still in effect today.  I decentralized the decision making process from the police headquarters and placed it in the hands of regional, divisional and formation commanders to allow for greater efficiency on the ground.  During my tenure, we grew the police department from 2013 to 2016 by an additional one thousand officers.  Unfortunately, from 2017 to 2018, we did not get any additional numbers.”

 

Growth in human resources notwithstanding, the perennial challenge for any commissioner, past or present, has been to mitigate excessive levels of crime and violence.  It is a situation that newly appointed ComPol Williams is confronted with.

 

Chester Williams

Chester Williams, Commissioner of Police

“We are going to focus on three areas to address the crime issue: gangs, domestic violence and nightclubs.  When we look at our murder rates, the three major causes of murders last year were gangs, domestic violence and disputes that starts at nightclubs and end up in fatalities.  So if we want to make a dent we have to focus on those three areas.”

 

To Whylie’s credit, he was instrumental in putting together an anti-gang taskforce to address the rising issue of organized crime.  Its efficiency, however, is yet to be fully tested given the spate of gang-related incidents that continue to be recorded.

 

Allen Whylie

“During my six years in command we took over 1,048 firearms off the streets of Belize, across this entire country and we took 15, 944 assorted rounds of ammunition from across this country.  From 2013 to 2016, crime was reduced from the high of 2,772 as I indicated at 2018, 1, 371 incidents, a reduction of 1, 401 major incidents or 50.5%.  So tell me, how could I have been ineffective?  As I said, there was a coordinated media campaign by persons and that was well known.”

 

The outgoing ComPol may not have been as media-friendly as his successor.  The impression, nonetheless, that he was an inadequate leader was widely held, despite his accomplishments.

 

Allen Whylie

“In 2018, I would opine that the Belize Police Department had a very successful year under my leadership.  The successes the Belize Police Department enjoyed whilst I was in command was not solely of my making.  As the leader, I identified problems, developed solutions with my management team, identified persons with the capacity and I empowered those persons to go out and to deliver to get the job done.”

 

Among the six hundred plus officers who came up within the ranks of the department under Whylie’s leadership is his replacement.  In acknowledging what works, ComPol Williams says that some strategies will remain intact going forward.

 

Chester Williams

“We have met, myself and my management team, and we are putting together the crime fighting strategy, not throwing out what Mr. Whylie has started because what he did was a good one.  We’re going to build on that and see what we can do to be able to ensure that we come up with the right recipe to attack the crime problem.  No matter what we do we cannot stop all murders but we are going to ensure that we do our best to reduce the murder rate in Belize.”

 

Reporting for News Five, I am Andrea Polanco.

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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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