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Jan 7, 2021

The Police Association Elects a New Board

Jermaine Hyde

The Belize Police Department has a new board. On Wednesday, an election was held to elect the new representatives.  Two slates contested the election – one was led by the former president Corporal Eldon Arzu, and Sergeant Jermaine Hyde led the other.  Following the elections, Hyde’s slate was victorious. He trumped Arzu by almost double the votes, garnering six hundred and forty-nine votes to Arzu’s three hundred and forty-two.  Now, you’ll recall that last year, Arzu lost the election to Jane Usher.  Usher was recently promoted and as a result, she can no longer serve on the association.  But that election was a contentious one – at least for Arzu.  He took the matter before the court, where he has alleged that Commissioner Chester Williams failed to follow the rules of the Police Association’s election process.  It prevented him from serving on the board.  While the matter is still before the court, a new round of election was held on Wednesday where less than forty percent of the police officers voted to select a new board.  Today, Sergeant Jermaine Hyde spoke with the press about how his team won the elections and the first thing they want to tackle as a new association.

 

Sgt. Jermaine Hyde, Elected, Belize Police Association

“We told them that we told them that whatever welfare issues they have we will do our best to bring that up to the commissioner of police and have it resolved in an amicable way.”

 

Andrea Polanco

“And for you going forward what is your first order of the day – what do you want to tackle now that you’ve been elected?”

 

Sgt. Jermaine Hyde

“One of the everyday concerns of police officers one of those things that are pressing is that of police officers who are sick and may need medical attention and they are not there to meet these medical expenses. So, we try to find ways to deal with this issue and we would like to thank the business committee that is always there supporting the association to garner finance to help these police officers and so that is our job also when it comes to welfare.”

 

Andrea Polanco

“The voting in that election was quite low – not even fifty percent. Is that an indication that the membership doesn’t see the value in the association or that the organization or things weren’t put in place for officers to vote and let their voices be heard about who represent them?”

 

Sgt. Jermaine Hyde

“I wouldn’t say that the police officers aren’t interested. There may be a lot of factors that may have made the turnout low. For instance, I know that you guys know that we have some police officers who are in quarantine who may not have been able to come out and vote. And then in the north there is a lock down and a lot of police officers live in villages and finding their way to vote at the different – yes, there are voting stations at every formation, every station but to reach those station  maybe for some of them is an hour drive so there is a lot of factors that may have hindered police officers from coming out and  vote yesterday.”

 

Sergeants Jermaine Hyde, Gilbert Martinez, William Usher; Corporals Belky Gilharry, Shelene Myers, Reina Mendoza and Police Constable Lorenzo Mendoza make up the new board of the Police Association.


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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