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Jul 18, 2012

Police Association still waiting on response on transfers

Eldon Arzu

The Police Association says the clock is ticking and it is losing patience with the Police Department on the last minute transfer of several officers. Official notice was served on the affected officers at the end of June giving the cops and their families a mere two weeks to move to their new posts on July sixteenth. According to the association, moving is expensive and many of its members already emptied their pockets on expenses for the upcoming school year. The President of the Police Association, Corporal Eldon Arzu and Vice President Edlin Lorenzo, first spoke out against the transfers last Friday. A meeting was to be held at the police headquarters on Monday, but the police top brass couldn’t make time for them. So the association forwarded their concerns to the Acting Commissioner of Police in writing… still to no avail. Today, Arzu and Lorenzo were back at our studios to provide an update and they say they’re prepared to take the matter to court.

 

Cpl. Eldon Arzu, President, Police Association

“Yesterday, about ten-forty-five, letters were prepared and submitted to the commissioner of police containing the names of all persons who are aggrieved about the short notice of transfer. These letters were submitted to the commissioner of police—his secretary—and the person in charge of personnel yesterday. Thus far, we have not received anything; any formal notice from them in wiring as to how they will proceed with this transfer situation.”

 

Delahnie Bain

“So what is the association doing now?”

 

Cpl. Eldon Arzu

“Well, the association, we know that at headquarters things work really slow. We’re trying to bear patience at least until tomorrow and we expect that by tomorrow the Commissioner of Police should get back to us in writing as to how we will go ahead in respect to those transfers.”

 

Delahnie Bain

“And if by tomorrow, you don’t get a response or don’t get the response that you want, how far are you willing to go with this?”

 

Cpl. Eldon Arzu

“Well, I believe the situation would be a matter of law. I know of some officers who have taken legal redress to deal with this matter of transfer and the association might have to exhaust that means. That’s an option for the association as we speak. So we’ll wait until tomorrow and then we’ll see where we go from there tomorrow.”

 

Delahnie Bain

“Now, they were supposed to take effect on the sixteenth; has there been any move to enforce that?”

 

Cpl. Eldon Arzu

“Some officers, as directed by the commissioner of police, were told to stand down, meaning that they are still at their present post until this matter is resolved.”

 

Sgt. Edlin Lorenzo, Vice President, Police Association

“There are many police officers out there, they need to speak up. They are just staying quiet because of the subculture. In the police department, whenever they say do something, we just ask how high. That has to stop now. This is a new era of policing and we have more intelligent officers in the Police Department so we won’t stand aside and let these injustices continue. We’re gonna stand up and for our general membership out there, we are here to stay and we will ensure that we defend our membership welfare and contentment within this organization.”

 

When Corporal Arzu and Sergeant Lorenzo initially spoke to us on Friday, they were confident that the department would cooperate with them to resolve the issue. So we asked them today if that confidence had faded. Both association leaders say that they are all too familiar with the bureaucracy in the department and that has to change, starting with the concerns over the transfers. As for the motive behind the transfers, some of the officers are reportedly being punished for alleged wrongdoings. But Lorenzo says that transferring them doesn’t solve the problem, it only spreads it.

 

Edlin Lorenzo

Sgt. Edlin Lorenzo

“A police officer had told me, who is also aggrieved, that he is thinking about resigning or do something and just stay on interdiction until the commissioner of police leaves his post. When that? Well, that’s another question and these are the type of stuff; demoralization. Deal with the issue, deal with the issue. If it’s exigency of service, then let us know that it’s exigency of service. Some of these transfers are not right.  We also have some officers who are aggrieved who believe that it is a malicious move by the commissioner of police. But we can only, according to section 138(34), we can only bring it to the attention of the commissioner of police about these officers who have been aggrieved. Some of them are saying that it has been malicious and so something needs to be done.”

 

Cpl. Eldon Arzu

“This association is saying that if it’s exigencies of services, then let us disclose, let us be transparent. We need to start to hold those persons accountable. Those persons in charge, we need to start hold them accountable; the need to follow the rule of law, they need to ensure that they stick to the policy. And when there’s gross misfeasance, then the association should ensure that the persons who commit this misfeasance are informed. We need some change in this department and we need some urgent change.”

 

Sgt. Edlin Lorenzo

“You cannot just transfer the problem. Let’s say if I am involved in corruption, who says if you move—if you move me, you are moving the problem to a next jurisdiction because if I am corrupt in Belize City and you send me to PG, then I will take my corruption there. So deal with me. You either take me out of the department as such, but don’t transfer me to PG because I will take the corruption all the way from Belize City to PG and then I’ll have a network. And if you move me from PG because I’m corrupt there because you’re not doing your investigation and so forth, then you transfer me to Corozal, that means I lock off the whole country cause den I gwein west. So they need to deal with this stuff. If you have an allegation, then let the professional standard branch carry out their investigation.”

 

Arzu says the top brass of the Police Department should not look at the association as antagonists for taking a stand and that if the officers are not content, it will be reflected in their service.

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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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7 Responses for “Police Association still waiting on response on transfers”

  1. Storm says:

    Unless transfer are for disciplinary or bona fide emergency reasons, I don’t see why the leadership can’t give more notice and better timing to avoid practical problems like those mentioned in this article. Common courtesy and human respect for the officers seems to call for nothing less, and I think those things are the foundations of good organisations.

  2. Rod says:

    Don’t worry their is no leader in the country to make decisions thats why the corruption is rampant

  3. Elgin Martinez says:

    Kudos to these brothers for going against the grain and standing for what is right.

  4. Life says:

    they are the ones who need the job. if you cant take it, then fall out of the department. str8 foward.

  5. kinkriol says:

    Subculture….???? It seems as if these officers involved are well educated and of the same race. The hispanics are laughing at us every time we kill ourselves in the streets and victimizing ourselves in the workplace. Wake-up BZE, in 2020 the blacks in Belize will be 10%. It’s easy to see from the interviews who’s educated and who’s not….fix it while we still have a chance. “We bauwn ya”, let’s work together and keep our Belize.

  6. osc says:

    the man speaks of take him out the department then when they are release you will see them same one saying political victimization!!!for thier corruptive!! hey all police men an women know they would not station in one area for life.you know that before you join the force,so what is the problem? is it because you will be move from where you could hustle the money faster? thats why you Bze police lashing out? or the northern guys where you are the ones bringing an carry the illegal stuff? for the chiney man!!!!!!!!!! wake police bedras uno knw weh uno join the force wrk!! so if u move to an remote area!! take it up!! stop whinning like !@##$%^!!!!

  7. adobe says:

    You really make it seem so easy with your presentation but I to find this matter to be really something which I think I might never understand. It sort of feels too complex and very huge for me. I’m taking a look forward to your next post, I’ll attempt to get the hold of it!

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