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Jan 10, 2011

Poor police scores on promotion exam

doug singh

Four hundred and seventy-nine police officers, constables and sergeants took promotional exams on November twenty-seventh in Belize City. The results are slowly coming to light and are considered dismal.  The exam is divided into two parts: subjective and objective, each worth a hundred points and the passing mark is sixty-five percent for the objective and sixty percent for the subjective. Only thirty-nine of the four hundred and seventy passed.  It’s a startling revelation but Minister of Police Doug Singh told News Five that he still has to crunch the numbers and look at the questions to properly assess the assessment.

Via Phone: Doug Singh, Minister of Police

“The results are not as good as I was expected.”

Jose Sanchez

“What does this mean? Do they have to go back and retake this test? Are they over? What does it say about the level…”

Via Phone: Doug Singh

“When the exams are made available again. They’re not gonna be offered the test to take over until the round of tests come up again. The procedure that was in place prior to my time is that sufficient notice is given for the test and each policeman must pass both part of the test—a subjective and objective part of the test—for them to be considered pass. If they did very high in one and just below the passing grade in the other, that would not be considered a pass. An average of the two would have raised the total number of passes substantially at least in two areas of the test—meaning a private to corporal and corporal to sergeant.”

Jose Sanchez

“So in the meantime what should they do? Just study some more? What can these officers of different ranks do in the meantime/”

Via Phone: Doug Singh

“We are doing analysis on the entire results. The objective test is a multiple choice test of fifty questions. What we are doing is analyzing all the answers given to those questions and we are charting it to see the substantive areas of weakness for us to determine areas that we may need…in other words we are not leaving it up to the subjectivity of each officer, we are trying to see if there is a pattern—if there is a particular area of weakness that we can develop training around those areas to help the officers. We don’t want to assume that they just didn’t study. There areas of weaknesses that we need to address. In my opinion, the tests are designed for promotion of officers but at the same time, I have to look at the test to identify areas of weaknesses in the officers that I can promote training to make them do better in the future and make them do their jobs better generally. And it was the same thing with the subjective part of it. It was eight questions and pick any five and answer. I’m going to also look at the analysis, the results of all the officers in those questions that they answered and to see if there are areas of weakness where they didn’t do as well in certain questions to see the development or training needs for them.”

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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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16 Responses for “Poor police scores on promotion exam”

  1. rootsman says:

    A bunch of Dumbbell cops, this would be a good time to purge the force of these worthless cops and bring in some more educated ones, why don’t we give Sing the test see how he does on it? This will then determine what type of leader the cops have.


    Not surprised at all at this report, their lack of intelligence portrays on a daily basis in the work force. Many Belizeans have been victimized over and over again by sheer ignorance, and lately the tourists are singing the same ole song of incompetence.
    GOB along with the police department need to set high standards within the police force, and then reinforced the rules that only those who pass earned the honour of wearing a Belize police badge. Anyone who failed the test should not be given a second chance to re-do the test, failing the test means failing the police department.

  3. Josie says:

    the test results speaks for itself, no wonder the cops have such poooooooooooor judgement

  4. REGGIE says:


  5. sugar says:

    when the public comments that police officers cannot even take your statement and record what you are saying, there is always an excuse from the Ministry. Its time for us to realize that if we want a police force that is up to par with modern technology, then we have to STOP picking up school drop-outs and look at higher education to fill these posts. It is no longer OK to just have Std. 6 to be a police….cum on Belize, all other places started looking at college education, then 6th form and now even Bachelors degree……..wake up and smell the roses, theres a different world out here.

  6. pro cop says:

    You need to get your facts. It is the educated ones that did poor int the exam. The exam is based on police knowledge and experience. There are many officers that work in specialized technical areas, which has nothing to do with everyday policing. Due to overburden work constraints It is very difficult to find time to peruse some notes, which at the end is just theoretical. Working police experience is an advantage which lot of technical officers lack. In the end if these technical people are not around the police department will just crumble. Technical people are the backbone of the department, without them, the everyday policemen will not have the necessary infrastructure to do their work diligently.

  7. Curious says:

    Mr. Singh, If they were more brain than brawn, you couldn’t pay them that $!@#$ wage they are currently earning. You probably tip your personal driver more than these men and women earn in a whole year.

    To be truthful, I’d rather hear that the Police Officers are receiving frequent training in Public Relations, proper investigating techniques, crime scene preservation, evidence collection and preservation, HONESTY, good command of written and verbal English, willingness to advance in the field of Law enforcement, etc.

  8. Phacetious Plebbe says:

    You get what you pay for. I have worked with the police in my line of work, and quite frankly not all of them are “dumbbell cops”, as one post has put it. I want to make it clear though that poor pay negative circumstances, poor working conditions, as well as inadequate training in many instances, make for jaded and possibly cynical officers.

    The time has come for the government to pay police officers what will attract better quality personnel, some of whom are already in the Department. Government also needs to do its part to make sure that the officers are taken care of, so that they can do the job they are contracted to do.

    Government needs to get serious about law enforcement, that is the bottom line.

  9. Third Party Advocate says:

    While we are on the subject of grading, who’s grading the senior Police Officers and the Selected Minister? Since June of 2010 when Mr. Singh was handpicked by the PM to replace the other useless Minister of Police, there has been another 70 murders, mostly unsolved. How much more ‘grace period’ do you need Mr. Singh?

    Every time Mr. Singh appears on television, it’s been his mission to lower the morale of the Policemen. When he’s not insulting their physical appearance, he’s broadcasting the results of an exam, (on National Television), where more than 90% of them failed.

  10. DANGRIGA KING says:

    FUNNY 39

  11. Black Widow says:

    This is not a surprise. From the way these cops act on the streets you should know that they are all uneducated fools. They should give this same test to the Senor officers and you will all see the proof that 90 % of them are all uneducated fools too. How do you expect different from the ordinary force if the leaders are the same. This should be a time to purge the force and hire educated officers who are interested in upholding the law and not taking advantage of the citizens of Belize or making a quick buck.

  12. daveyt says:

    No government of Belize will give the Police a pay rise, nor will they want a Police Force filled with educated officers. They are the ruling parties puppets, pawns and tools in controlling the masses, and very handy during elections, to ensure that those that might vote for the other party won’t. especially with the amended laws concerning unlicenced firearms. Picture this:

    In the days running up to the next General Election, thousands of households are raided, cars are searched at checkpoints and on the street (displaying PUP stickers) and all the occupants locked up for 14 days before they can apply for bail, for one round of unlicensed ammunition – planted by the Police during the search. All will plead not guilty, as they genuinely did not know about the ‘evidence’, and most will be released after the elections, as the DPP will drop the case through lack of evidence. What’s the betting that these are mostly poor, and PUP supporters????? (Also disgruntled UDP supporters that won’t vote for the UDP).

    A little far fetched? We’ll see.

  13. Curious says:

    As long as the pay sucks, Police Officers will forever look for ways to subsidize their !@#$ for salary. They will almost always give into temptation with even the smallest bribes. Sad to say, our GOB is constantly looking for ways to pay fewer benefits to Public Servants. They pay their teachers, nurses and policemen, far less than they do their personal chauffeurs and secretaries.

  14. Earl Grey says:


    SEND THEM TO SCHOOL………’s not too late.

  15. OW Resident says:

    We have pea brained cops…. what is new??? Just listen to the questions that the ask at the check points or the way they give interviews on TV. There are smart but only when i comes to take bribe ohh no not even for that. a few years ago took a cheque as bribe payment

  16. Horn says:

    I will agree that the rests are not of the best. However before we quickly jump to criticize and crucify these persons, who,notwithstanding how we feel about them, risk their lives everyday, there are other variables which needs to come to a front. The educational level for entry into the Police Department has changed for sometime now, therefore, there are only a few officers you would find who only have a primary school leaving certificate. This is not say that more emphasis is not need where education is concern. However, you is it not publicized but everyday there are number of police officers across the country who are furthering their education, at the Associates and Bachelors degree level. And as well there are four officers who are studying for a Bachelor of law degree.
    Pro cop, I will agree with you. Another thing, remember that the exam was for promotion to the next rank, which in essence test try to test the knowledge of officers in advancing to the next rank. This exam should not be an indicator of the officers capabilities in their current rank.
    unlike the other organizations like the BDF, persons for promotion are able to attend a training course, or cadre as the BDF calls it, which prepares then prior to the exam. Additionally to this not being done, these officers had to prepare for the exam in their own time. The exam as I understand it, was announced sometime around the end of August. A lot of time to a November exam right? However, during that time officers, from across the country were in engaged in anti- crime operations. Ant- crime operations are basically having officers doing extra hours of patrol. Hours that could have been spent studying. The anti-crime last year I am told, ran from September 1 to October 15, and the exam was sometime after the 19th November, where officers and again had to work extra because of the holiday weekend. Every holiday in Belize sees officers doing extras to ensure safety.

    Like Pro cop indicated, many of the officers, who are considered as failed, passed very high in the subjective part of the exam. The subjective part is where officers have to really show their knowledge in the different areas of police work. In my view, an officers passing very high in the subject part of the exam is an indication that he/she knows the material. The other part of the exam was the multiple choice, where many failed. Many studies will tell you that they would prefer essay type questions that multiple choice questions. Therefore I am hoping that all these are taking into account during the analysis the minister spoke about.

    In closing I would like to say that I agree with many that there is need for improvement within the police department. However, I feel that much improvement has been made in the area education. And strongly believe that the result of the exams has not much to do with the level of education of the officers. I think if the background of many of those, we are here referring to as dumbbells, we will actually see that many of these persons are Associates degree holders and even bachelors. Come to think about it, since the police officers are so useless, what do we think would happen if they one day decide sick out, as was done in other countries?

    Just a question for us to pondering, as we think about the” dumbbells and useless” police officers we claim they are.

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