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Jun 17, 2021

Leading by Example: The Commissioner of Police Gets his COVID-19 Vaccine

With only twenty percent of Belize’s police force getting their vaccination against COVID-19, despite being eligible from the earliest phases, Commissioner of Police Chester Williams today rolled up his sleeve and took the jab. News Five’s Paul Lopez was there when the ComPol and a crop of new recruits got vaccinated.


Paul Lopez, Reporting

Commissioner of Police Chester Williams today joined the twenty percent of police officers that have taken the Covid-19 Vaccine. He was accompanied by the Minister of Health and Wellness Michel Chebat, Commander of the Special Patrol Unit, Aaron Gamboa, and members of that Unit.


Chester Williams

Chester Williams, Commissioner of Police

“The experience was good. I have always said that when it was my time to take the vaccine, I would take it. And as front-line workers, police officers, I believe it is important for us to take the vaccine for the simple fact that we interact with people from all walks of life. When we do interact with people, we do not know what their medical status is. So, it is important for us to do this. It is not like we are well equipped with the P.P.E.s to protect ourselves. So, I believe that the greatest guard we have against contracting the COVID-19 virus is the vaccine.”


Police recruits currently in training also lined up to take their first shot of the AstraZeneca vaccine. And, as subordinated to their commissioner, were they commanded to follow suit and take the vaccine?


Chester Williams

“This is a matter of a constitutional issue. Taking the vaccine is something a person must decide individually. There is no mandatory vaccine being imposed by the government. And so, even though we are a disciplined organization, I cannot do something that goes against their health or what they believe may go against their health. So all the recruits being vaccinated today are doing so on their own free will. As a matter of fact, not all of them are being vaccinated today. If it were a command, it would have been every single one of them.”


Minister of Health and Wellness, Michel Chebat lauded the Commissioner of Police for leading by example and publicly displaying his confidence in the vaccine.


Michel Chebat

Michel Chebat, Minister of Health and Wellness

“This is an important process for us at the Ministry of Health and Wellness. As you know we have a massive vaccination campaign drive going on. We felt it was important to ger the police involved because they are at the frontline of the battle. And to get as many of them vaccinated as possible is important. We are thankful that the commissioner shares that view. And it is through his assistance we see this kind of turnout. And we are especially grateful that he is showing his confidence in this vaccine by being vaccinated himself. I think that sends an important message not only to the policemen, but to the wider community.”


Reporting for News Five, I am Paul Lopez.

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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