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Oct 26, 2020

170 Cops are Off Duty due to COVID-19

As cops are on the frontline to shut down illegal gatherings, these encounters with large groups can further expose them to the virus.  Currently, the department has been hit hard with close to one hundred and seventy cops off duty as a result of the pandemic. Commissioner of Police Chester Williams says that at the Prosecution Branch alone, fifty-five staffers were sent home for quarantine or self-isolation. Williams says that at this time the final number is pending for how many of those staff members tested positive for the virus. And because the prosecution branch is central to the work at the magistrate’s court, today Williams explains what’s being done in light of the disruption caused COVID-19.


Chester Williams

Chester Williams, Commissioner of Police

“What we are doing, officers have been advised that when it comes to bailable offences, they are to grant bail for three weeks from today and when it comes to non-bailable offences, we can arrange with the magistracy to see if we can get the magistrate to the police station to read the charge to the person and then perhaps remand that person into custody or granting that person bail. So, that is how we are going to address that issue. We must understand that the whole issue of COVID-19 at the prosecution branch does affect the courts because the prosecutors actually work inside the courtroom, so the potential for spreading at the courts is also high and it is with that spirit that the court decided that they are going to close down until the necessary sanitation and testings are done and then they see how they go from there. As I said on Friday, the entire prosecution branch staff is either quarantine or isolation. We are still awaiting the test results for those who were tested on Friday. Hopefully we will be able to get those today and then we will see how many officers are infected. May I also say that even officers in Punta Gorda Town are infected now and a number of them are going into quarantine today. In Orange Walk, the entire CIB staff is in quarantine because of possible infection. So, we continue to be wounded by the effects of COVID, but while we are wounded we are not down and we continue to remain strong and vibrant.”

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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