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Apr 24, 2019

Police Association President’s Salary is Frozen

Eldon Arzu

Where is Corporal Eldon Arzu and why hasn’t he shown up to assume his new post at the police headquarters in Belmopan?  It’s the latest twist in the saga of the embattled president of the Belize Police Association who was transferred to the office of Planning, Performance, Review, Inspection and Implementation at the end of January. Arzu has been absent without leave and a decision has since been taken by the administration of the Belize Police Department to discontinue his salary as of April fifteenth.  That decision prompted Corporal Arzu to write Commissioner of Police Chester Williams.  In a letter dated April sixteenth, Arzu addresses what he describes as deliberate misconceptions made by the ComPol to give an impression that there was misfeasance during his past tenure as association president.  Back in January, Arzu was re-elected as president, much to the discontent of Williams who signed off on a two-year-tenure for the post. This evening, News Five spoke with Commissioner Williams who explained Arzu’s absence and the reason for freezing his salary.

 

On the Phone: Chester Williams, Commissioner of Police

“Mr. Arzu was transferred to the Office of Planning, Performance, Review, Inspection and Implementation in Belmopan.  His transfer was supposed to take effect, I believe, around the end of January and since then he has failed to take up his transfer.  Instead, Mr. Arzu opted to not coming to work.  I think for the past month and change he has been absent from duty and no one knows of his whereabouts.  Police officers are paid from the Consolidate Revenue Fund, otherwise known as what we refer to as taxpayers.  We cannot be paying persons or police officers who are not at work, that will be a waste or an abuse of public funds.  I will say that this is not unique to Mr. Arzu.  Whenever we have any situation where a police officer goes absent for more than three days, it is the norm that they dock their salary and whenever they report back for duty we would place them on disciplinary charge and the tribunal will then order deduction of those days that they have been absent, providing that they were found guilty in the tribunal.  I will also state that under the amendment to the Police Act of 2018, it also says that where an officer is absent for five or more days, the officer is deemed to have abandoned his post.  And by virtue of that, the police do have the power to dismiss.  I am not saying that that is what is going to be done to Mr. Arzu, but I want to appeal to him that we have one police department, we have one Commissioner of Police and he is subject to the direction of the commissioner and any other senior officer in the police department.  And where instructions are given, once instructions are lawful then he has a responsibility to ensure that he follows those instructions.  If he is aggrieved by the transfer then he could have simply written to the commissioner, explain his grievance and then consideration could have been made.”


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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