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Jan 22, 2020

Police Command is Not Top Heavy says Chester Williams

Chester Williams

Coming out of the conference was a question on the effectiveness of precinct policing, a model which is being employed in Belize City primarily.  According to ComPol Williams, while senior officers are often paired to head the various precincts, there is no duplication of roles, nor has the department become top heavy in its management structure.


Chester Williams, Commissioner of Police

“We have to understand the dynamics, especially in Belize City.  We had precinct policing and with precinct policing you have relief commanders.  Each relief must have two senior officers, one who is in charge and one who is the deputy and then you have the precinct commander who also has a deputy.  Then you have the regional commander or the divisional commander with a deputy, so we try to ensure that we balance the level of supervisors at the management level to suite the amount of officers in the lower rank and so it is not top heavy.  We still have some relief that do not have senior officers in Belize City.  So we need to ensure that we have senior officers because it gives greater accountability in terms of the service that we offer to the public.  The precinct system was not, from my understanding, established to control Belize City per se, but rather it was created to make the services that police offer more available to the people of Belize City because when you had only Queen Street as the station, people from wherever part of the city if they wanted to make a complaint they had to go to Queen Street.  But now with the precincts in the different areas you now have a police station within your area that you can go to as opposed to having to go all the way to Queen Street, so the availability of services that we have to offer to the public becomes more easier through the precinct system and it also, on the other hand, gives a commander a smaller area to control, rather than you have one commander who controls the entire city operationally.”

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