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Aug 12, 2021

ComPol Says Officers Had Time to Prepare for Enforcement of S.I. 74

Commissioner of Police Chester Williams says the Belize Police Department is simply enforcing the law when he issued a memo last week instructing all regional and sub-station commanders to have their officers abide by S.I. Seventy-Four.  The statutory instrument requires all persons deemed as “frontline workers” to present either their vaccination card or negative COVID PCR test results every two weeks. The topic has become a live one because soon after the memo was circulated, the Belize Police Association, through its attorney, Dickie Bradley, wrote Commissioner Williams expressing the association’s concerns about some officers’ apprehension about the vaccine or inability to pay for the tests. Bradley, who spoke to News Five on Monday, suggested that if the government were to offer the PCR tests free of cost to the officers, they would gladly comply.  Today, Commissioner Williams responded.  


Chester Williams

Chester Williams, Commissioner of Police

“While I could understand the angle from which Mr. Bradley’s letter was written, my response would be that all frontline workers were aware of the fact that this law would come into effect as of August first because SI 74 came out in early July. So the reality is that we had one month grace period and in addition to that one month, I had said to officers across the country that we would not enforce the provisions of the regulation until after the Minister’s tour was over to give the officers that opportunity to be able to get some education on the vaccine because they would know that as a part of our tour we had medical experts with us who answered questions from the officers, in terms of the vaccine with a view to sensitize them because one of the main issues that officers had was that they did not have enough information on the vaccine. So from what we did, many officers got the answers to the questions that they wanted to ask and based on that, they were able to take the vaccine.”

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