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Jan 13, 2020

Female Officers to Take Legal Action over Hairstyles

And on the topic of female police officers, today Commissioner Chester Williams told the media that two of his officers will take the department to court. The legal action is over the matter of hairstyle. If you’ll recall, last year several members of the department faced disciplinary charges over dreadlock hairstyles.  Back then, the department said that the women’s decision to style their hair that way during working hours violates Section Seven of the Standing Orders. Some of the women complied and removed the hairstyle but others faced the disciplinary measures. Now, two officers are not stopping there and they are taking it before the court. Here’s what Williams had to say on the matter.


Chester Williams

Chester Williams, Commissioner of Police

“We have received notice from two of the officers that they are taking us to court and so we will go to court and the court is going to decide. So, in the time being, the legal officer has been tasked with looking at the policy document that deals with the appearance of officers. And we are going to make it clear in the policy document, as well as the SI, as it relates to how females and every officer must dress that includes the hairstyle and that will address the issue.”



“Don’t you consider it on the face of it discriminatory, say someone who grew up in a Rastafarian family, a young lady decides to take up law enforcement as a career, and clearly your policy which states that you have to lose the dread or you can’t join the police.”


Chester Williams

“If a mental person wants to join the police too, he must be allowed to join the police? It is not everybody who wants to do something must be allowed to do it. If you want to join something then you must ensure that you meet the requirements as it relates to getting there. You can’t just come and join and want to enforce your own rules and then want things to work around you. It doesn’t work like that.”



“So, you don’t see it as discriminatory?”


Chester Williams

“No. If it is up to Belizean people everything is discriminatory; everything.”

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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