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Dec 22, 2004

New commish will build on past

Story PictureAnd while Zetina is moving on, the leadership is being passed to Gerald Westby, who currently heads the National Crimes Investigations Branch. Westby says he will be building on the foundation left by his predecessor and leaning heavily on the support of his senior officers, especially his deputy, Maureen Leslie.

Gerald Westby, Commissioner of Police Designate
“We will be having a transitional period and we will be looking at the five year plan for review, we will consult with the public, we will consult with the media, we will consult with everybody and then we will be implementing, looking at the objectives that we have and building on the solid foundation that the Commissioner has left over the last two years. Looking internally, what we want to work at is to probably work at changing the attitude or improving the attitude of police internally to have more self respect for themselves, respect for each other, respect for the law abiding citizens out there so that when we go to the public the public will be more receptive to supporting us because we need the community to work with.”

Patrick Jones
“When you take over, what kind of a Commissioner will you be? Will it be the hands on type? Will the public see you a lot or will you be hold up somewhere in Belmopan?”

Gerald Westby
“I certainly won’t be the type. You have seen me in all the presidential visits; big occasion I have always been there. I have had a wide ranging experience in operational matters, and I will make myself available to the public, visibility of the Commissioner. Leading up in the front is very important. So definitely I won’t be sitting in Belmopan. I will be there working myself and Miss Leslie, out there and leading the men.”

Maureen Leslie, Deputy Commissioner of Police Designate
“We plan to work as a team. And Mr. Westby with his experience and with my experience, we have worked a number of years together so we sort of joined at the hips as I said earlier. We know each others moves, we can think alike and we have respect for each other and we know each other’s capabilities. So I think it will be an excellent team to take the department forward.”

Patrick Jones
“Do you see this as your being prepped to be the next Commissioner of police?”

Maureen Leslie
“As I keep saying over and over, I deal with, whatever rank I am, I deal with that particular rank. And at this particular time I’m Assistant Commissioner, I am still officer in charge of Eastern Division until next year April and that as far as I am concerned that is where majority of my responsibilities lie.”

“The country will be seeing a different type of leadership. I think this is one of the few times in the department since I have been here that we have a close team like myself and Mr. Westby and we will see a difference.”

Patrick Jones
“So the rogue cops need to be on notice?”

Maureen Leslie
“Yes, they have always been on notice. And most of the officers who are currently on interdiction, they are not there because of police brutality. They are there for a number of other offences. But officers who continue to want to do their own thing, then we will have to have a separation. So I think officers out there they know it’s like two the hard way coming at them. We will protect you, we will look after your welfare but we will not tolerate any undisciplined behaviour.”

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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