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Jun 9, 2010

Newly appointed Minister of Police and Public Safety says he will import former chief of police

douglas singh

Last week Wednesday, Prime Minister Dean Barrow unveiled a complex plan to pull the country out from the current crime epidemic. Restore Belize is a long term multi-faceted initiative made up of government, the private sector and civil society which will take off in August. It will require funding of some thirty million dollars to be drawn from the financial institutions as well as from government sources. Aside from implementation of the famous Crooks Report, Barrow disclosed that he had engaged retired Belizean American police officer, John Burns who will make his first trip to Belize in July. This morning newly appointed Minister of Police and Public Safety, Doug Singh, said that aside from Burns, there are plans to engage retired chief of police, William J. Bratton.

Douglas Singh, Minister of Police and Public Safety

“The Prime Minister should be having a conversation I believe with the consultancy firm that is run by one of the gentlemen, I can’t remember his name off hand, that was brought in by Julianne in New York, Bratton I think it was, to New York and then later was re-commissioned to Los Angeles after the Rodney King incident that started the riots in Los Angeles. And he worked in many other countries so his level of experience, with respects of looking at the core problems on the ground and saying what to do to immediately address them I think is probably way beyond most other organizations and it would be key to get the recommendations and if we can afford it certainly be able to hire a team to assist us on implementing the kinda changes that we need to.”

According to our research, Bratton is a retired Chief of Police for the LAPD and also served as the commissioner of both the New York and the Boston Police Department. Bratton is recognized for his efforts in reshaping the Los Angeles Police Department. His consulting company is The Bratton Group LLC.


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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26 Responses for “Newly appointed Minister of Police and Public Safety says he will import former chief of police”

  1. Manford says:

    As far as I’m consern bringing a former LAPD is changing monkey fi black dog. Anyone who lived or lives in Los Angeles know the character of LAPD, shoot and ask question,Rambo style. Seem like we would be best serve to have a Senior police from England UK. Anyhow, I’m please to see that this was a suggestion I made some time ago on this very forum.

  2. Dorritt Tay says:

    I think getting Chief Bratton to advice or to get involve with the Minister of Police and Publie Safety Department would be a very good move because he’s got a lot of experience. Yes ,he was here in Los Angeles and he did a wonderful job. Hope it will help to bring Belize back to the good old days when you could walk freely on the streets and do not worry about getting shot at or getting rob .Some Belizean are afraid to visit their home because of all the craims. I will be praying for Chief Bratton to accept the invitation and will be able to assist the Minister of Police and Public Safety and The Belize Police Department to make the streets of Little Belize safe. DT

  3. maddyvandijk says:

    I think it is about time to call on other leaders in other countries for some help to help save Belize from the black hole it’s about to fall into. I think also that maybe it is a good idea to have retired Belizeans/Americans to come working that system. (Wasn’t Chief Justice Abdulai Conteh asked to put up his gavel for good, because the minister thinks he should retire)? Oh, never mind then.

    Belize is in a state of emergency and any help will do even if the help is an outsider like Bratton himself. Bratton holds in immaculate record of which he should be thanked for, and the Los Angeles Police Department is world renowned for its training.
    That system need more educated and respectable police officers in order to gain trust and respect, and this can only be done with outside help.

    I say don’t stop at the police department with help from the outsiders, bring them also in the political field of Belize, we all know that part of the society need some desperate changes.

  4. claude Carr says:

    It seems that we are once again going to spend money, and a lot I suspect on consultations. What we need is for those monies to be spent on improving the forensic capabilities of the Police Department. More must be spent on long term training for police officers. I believe that these people will come and tell the same thing Crooks did and what the Belizean public have been saying for a long time now.

  5. Stygian says:

    stop the talking and get to work, we want to see major arrests, convictions and reduction in crime. start off with the police’s recruitment policy, train, train, train!!!!!!!

  6. madaras says:

    Prime Minister, I think so far tapping in other resources will surely provide great insights to the Belizeans and hopefully equipped us with the tools and knowledge that will path a safer and better Belize. Lets see what these people bring to our table, hopefully its concrete and long term.

    Well I think we can definitely afford it, again tapping into resources and utilizing them to the fullest capabilities. Lets look at the contract with the investors and our oil indutry. We can definitely make changes somewhere.

    Also lets give back something to the communities, I know for a fact that football is one of our favorite sports. Great people like Mr. Rodriguez and Mr Murray from the raptors; Mr. Brown (the late) from the brown bombers. These were great little leagues that hundreds of youths participated in, and created something for the youths to partake in.

    And this was done primarly out of good deeds, people like these guys should probably head our sports division, or given something to do with the youths.

    Prime Minister, lets make this right.

  7. Oscar965 says:

    Its the “Police Recruitment Policy” that needs to change. We recruit Belizeans on the force that have little to no school training. A lot of them are school drop outs. We need to “Raise the Bar”. In the Tourism Industry, the Education Industry we have raised the Bar. The men and women who work those industries have a good education. The same should happen with the Police Force. You want to be a Police Officer, then you must have a minimum of a “high school” diploma. If you want to qualify for a senior position, your education should be more than just a high school diploma. If we take a good look at the educational background of the current Police Force, we would be amazed. Amazed at how “low of a priority” we place on a recruit’s school background. Lets “Raise the Bar” and if the current force does not this criteria..then they must be given time to get the educated or get out of the force.

  8. John Boy/Carson, California says:

    Bratton was a good chief .He have experience working in major cities in America..He is the best chief of police that Los Angeles had in my years in America. i have been here since , Parker, Gates, Williams, and Parks.

    Good move G.O.B

  9. Fustrated Belizean says:

    I agree with OScar965″Police Recruitment Policy ” needs to be change We need to raise the bar to hire more quaified police officer. A high school diploma should be a start, but an AA from 6 form would be even better. Also the physical and physological part of been an officer is quite significant who are testing these police officers. We need more eqipment to help our officer in the field of there work ( phone, taser gun, night goggles etc). In the US kids are train as cadets to be police officer from high school you have to dress and act like an officer of the law. You are encourage to go to college to take more law classes. By the time these students are done, you can see who fell off the ladder and who really want to be a cop. Belize need to change it whole police department. A department cannot run by political influence it will never work. Also our crime scene need to change. Where are the simple body bag to escort the dead. All I see are bodies place in the back of a truck we have no regard for the dead. Only the coroner should be handling the dead to not spoiled evidence in a murder case. Our one an only autopsy man is tired he needs help. One person is not effective in saying what someone died from in a murder case when three bodies are line up for him to look at those bodies too. We need to restructured the whole police department I sure Bratton will suggested that. Will his recommendation be accepted we will have to wait and see.

  10. Rufus C says:

    Why are we wasting money to pay for advise that we already know? The thing that made Chief Bratton effective in New York and Los Angeles is that we have functional courts in the US that ensure that the laws governing crimes are applied. That is what we need in Belize – an independent judiaciary with qualified and prudent staff to ensure that all criminals are dealt with effectively.

  11. Janet says:

    I honestly do not see how getting a consultant will work. Harold Crooks was a consultant, he gave several recommendations that would have improved the police department, but the only recommendation that the department seem to use is the one that allowed them to promote officers who were pollitically affiliated. Why get a consultant; if politics is removed from the department and officers are allowed to do the work that they need to do things should work out. A consultant works off the knowledge of people, all they do is ask questions and compile the information gathered; I believe we have compentent people who can do this. All we need to do is ensure that the police department have educated officers at the top. If they make that change at least 4 of the officers who got promoted in the past year will be removed and will allow other officers with masters degree and knowledge of the job, who only work in the background on the instructions of the uneducated ones to move up and do a better job. This will allow the department to move forward. We can then invest the money for a consultant somewhere else.

  12. Lori says:

    Another consultant. BULL. Police can not solve the crimes because they are committing the CRIMES.

    Belizean Money Wasted.

  13. Bengal says:

    Bringing in William Bratton might have some positive changes to the crime situation in the jewel because he has a lot of expertise in law enforcement. But how effective it would be is a tough question. This is because Belize and Los Angeles are 2 different worlds when we think of values, standard of living, salary, medical care and many social issues.

    This crime situation did not happen overnight. I believe that it was the neglect of 3 generations that lead to this situation.
    For a long time we as Belizeans, specifically poor Belizeans have been and are still being neglected. The church, government , educational system, legal, judicial and we ourselves as a people have failed us.
    For generations people have been enslaved working for the government, large private companies, and wealthy family for salaries that are far too low for their basic survival. For example my grandfather work for the Public Works department for 25 plus years but barely received any money for his pension. After he passed my grandmother, who is his surviving spouse barely receives $120 Belize dollars. She is is 74 years old but with no pension of her own because she gave most of her youthful years to a wealthy family for a salary of $70 Belize dollars per week. Now she is too old they no longer have need for her.
    So it would be in the best interest of the Belizean society to invest in their youths through education, sports, and culture. Crime is usually a way in which people in a society rebels and vent telling the world that the system is failing them. These ghetto youths have been crying out for decades but we ignored their cry for help. Ministers in government and entrepreneurs were busy filling their pockets and stomachs. but now they are in a state of panic because crime and evil has no boundary. Notice high society kids getting caught up with the criminal elements in society. Or well known business men and women falling to murder for hire plots. Educate the youths.This is one of the best deterrent to crime. Wise people tend to make wise decisions.

    Also we have to educate our law enforcement personnel. If our police and soldiers have proper skills and training they will be better equipped to tackle the crime situation. They will be able to present a case in the courts that won’t fall apart because thy did a poor job investigating and so forth. They deserve descent wages, benefits, and housing so when the big man in the criminal world wave that big roll of money they might be able to fight off the temptation.

    Also its going to take an effort from you, me, and every concern Belizean to bring about positive changes. Lets start with the man, woman, boy, or girl in the mirror.

    NUFF LOVE,

    Food For Thought

  14. lb ice says:

    Belize do not need an outsider to be Chief of Police. There are many other Belizeans in Belize, in the US and other parts of the world that can do the job much better than Bratton and for less.

  15. Fryjack says:

    Why pay a consulting firm thousands maybe millions of dollars that will be taken out of the country by these consultants. The money can be better use for higher quality of training of officers before they hit the pavement. Law enfprcement is a previlidge to serve the community with the utmost integrity and until that is understood the same old will continue. Law enforcement officers requires a special mindset (temperment) and the entire present culture has to change. Stop the revolving door of rotating the same incompetent and untrained officers. Ensure officers are one, trained and deciplined and qualify to carry out the laws of the land as stated in the books and policies that were implemented; subsequently if the laws need to change then do it! Second, a law enforcement officer need to have unbending and uncompromising character and integrity. Stop believing that people from outside have a better solution than Belizeans. Belizeans live in the country and knows what needs to be done. By the way I am a law enforcement officer living in the United States who is originally from Belize. I was born and raised in Belize City for the first twenty one years of my life. Peace.

  16. Orlando says:

    If anybody in Belize know Rudy Guliani, then they would not bring this Idiot Brat to Belize period!

  17. blvnjah says:

    NOTHING PERSONAL AGAINST THESE FELLOWS THEY ARE HIRING AS CONSULTANTS BUT I THINK ITS JUST A HUGE WASTE OF MONEY AND RESOURCES. WE NEED TO STOP TALKING AND START ACTING, WE ARE IN A WAR TO GET OUR STREETS BACK.

    ENFORCE EXISTING LAWS, BETTER TRAINING AND RECRUITING OF LAW ENFORVEMENT PERSONEL, TAKE POLITICS OUT OF THE DEPTARTMENT. MANY OF THE OFFICERS WE HAVE CAME FROM THE STREETS AND ‘HOODS’ OF THE CRIMINALS THAT ARE CAUSING HAVOC AND THEIR MENTALITY HASNT CHANGED.

    THE POWERS TO BE, KNOWS WHAT NEEDS TO BE DONE, THEY JUST NEED TO GET SERIOUS ABOUT DOING IT

  18. crime free belize says:

    Well all my belizean’s that think all this talk about talking,is a huge waste of money,i only can agree.First of all belize is not the U.S.A,we are different in too many ways,come on,do we realy need some other country to try and figure out our problems?why are we still going around the death penalty?We need to spend that money on rebuilding our police and judicial infrastructure.We also need to concentrate on quality and not quantity,as we seen large police force has done noting for curbing crime in belize,we need better trained,paid and intelligent police officers,we also need to make the belize police force just as attractive,for our young ambitious youth’s,as the gang’s they often look up to,we need to convince our youth’s doing the right thing is also the way for a great pay,while keeping their family safe.We also need to have background inveatigator’s,to screen all prospective persons,trying to get into our law inforcement wing of the government.Why not invest some of that money to send some of our more intelligent student’s abroad,for even better training,with the promise to serve our government for a number of years before going to private practice,we need better trained,and intelligent men and women,to push our country forward.

  19. Hattie says:

    I must say that i agree with a lot of the comments posted with regards to tackling this crime situation in Belize. I left home going on twelve years now, is married to an american and is quite ashamed to let her read the news with me with all that’s going on in what was the JEWEL.

    To address the current state of affairs those in authority must first honestly look at the root cause of crime and violence. Usually its because of the lack of education and then the lack of opportunity to be gainfully employed. more often than not our troubled youth did not intend to lead a life of crime .However because at times there seems to be no other way out, this is what happens.
    Rather than spend all that money on paying a foreign consultant, what the PM needs to do is implement and ensure that every belizean child have access to and recieve free education up to at least high school. Invest in the proper training of those in law enforcement, complete with state of the art forensic lab.These are just a few suggestions from someone that did not even graduate high school. Cetainly the PM who happens to be a trained attorney should not allow himself to appear to be out witted by a bunch of thugs and crimminals most of whom did not even sit a day in high school. Come on Mr. Prime Minister speak to this shituation…….

  20. babygrl says:

    one thing we need to keep in mind is that the mentality of the american police officers is that they always cover for each its very rear when they are brought to justice they always seem to get off no matter what.whenever one of them is brought down it always has something to do with a racial attack and the whole world has seen the evidence besides that there is never justice you get profiled by your race, type car you drive etc etc etc read between the lines pretty soon belize might be like cuba where you will need the government permission to peeeeeeee.

  21. EarlGray says:

    Why not bring in Curtis Sliwa, the Guardian Angels, also???????? At least the citizens would be involved too in policing their community.

  22. G Glenn says:

    This is one of the Best thing that GOB could do hiring Mr Bratton. I know for a fact that he could have and would have done a much better job than the Crooked man from Jamaica. I studied about Mr Bratton sucess and his book Turnaround is reflective of his style and achieve men.. Kudos!!! Let us Do This Men…

  23. BELIZEANGYPSY says:

    What a load of crap from G.O.B. we do not need Mr. Bratton as a consultant, the cases might start off with the Police but they end with the Judges. The consultation need to be done in the Magistrate Courts because that is where the murdering criminal gets the idea that even if they murder someone they will get off free. It is true that our Police force needs better training, BUT, if the courts would set an examples to a few of these criminal such as LIFE-IMPRISONMENT /ELECRIC CHAIR / LETHAL INJECTION without a doubt the crime rate in Belize would go down.

  24. daveyt says:

    the last ‘Consultant’ that was imported to advise on the Police is currently on remand in Jamaica on child molestation charges and ‘escape’……

    But that won’t stop G.O.B wasdting even more millions of our money to find out what is garingly obvious to all. CORRUPTION!!!! In government, the Police force, in the Judiciary, in fact everywhere!

    Stamp out corruption, take back contol of the prison, and make that place so harsh for inmates that nobody would want to go there (introduce Hard Labour, and prison uniforms). Clean out the police force – from the top down, and replace the DPP. And that’s just for starters!

    Investigate politicians and CEO’s/directors and senior civil servants (Especially Customs) for evidence of corruption, then prosecute to the fullest extent of the law, making it not worth stealing OUR money! That should be past and present, leaving no stones unturned, and no loopholes available. It’s there, it’s obvious, but they don’t want to do anything about it – why? Well that too is obvious, but we can’t say, or they’ll drag us through the courts for doing so!!!!!!

    Properly fund the Police, and the Forensic Laboritory, with emphasis on correct evidence gathering and investigation BEFORE files are passed to the DPP. Prosecution rates should be 97%, and not 7%!! Increase the powers of the Ombudsman, and have that department issue crime rates published every month, not only those committed, but those under investigation, those in with the DPP and in court, and finally the results of prosecutions. This way the public will be able to see how good or bad the people who are supposed to protect us are doing their job. Full reviews of the system should be carried out, and those not performing up to standard shouldbe relaced by those who can – right up to Ministerial level!!!!!!!!!!

    Introduce witness protection, and punish those witnesses who either fail to turn up when summonsed, or become “Hostile witnesses”. If a sworn statement was given, then that should apply in court.

    On the streets – more Police patrolling the streets on foot 24/7, with Stop & Search powers. Disband the Special Constables branch and have the Police fully professional, well paid, well motivated and fully responible for their actions. No more “Police never investigating Police” crap – they are not above the law and neither are the politicians in power.

    The importance is to show Belizeans that nobody is above the law, as right now it seems that those with money or power are and dveil to the rest of us!

    Now, where do I send my consultancy bill to??????

  25. Charlotte Yearwood Martin says:

    Sometimes I wonder if the people who are in charged bother to read these blogs. Today I have read all what you’ve said on this subject and honestly some of you need to be in authority to make decisions. Very wise words. I think that Belize have more people with expertise skills than we realise. I particularly agree 100% with Bengal, its as though you were reading my mind. Certainly it’s my take on the current situation in Belize. Daveyt good job:), I think if you address it to Minister of Police and Public Safety, he’ll handle it. Good luck.

    Lets hope that we are being listened to and that things improve swiftly. Not necessarily for us bloggers but for the thousands of poor people who don’t get to voice their opinions in forums like this.

  26. Ceasar says:

    His comments about the pot bellied police officers are right on the money. They show a lack of discipline and motivation. It is about time that someone tell it the way it is. The senior commanders are not educated enough and lack the proper training to do the job. The minister need to set up continous training camps for them. They need to exercise and learn disciplene. They are just a buch of laughing stock. Even the military send you to school before they promote you to another position. They need to properly outfitted and project a better sence pf authority. Their uniform look colonial.

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