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Dec 1, 2021

Cooler Heads Prevail Over JIOC Firewall

Commissioner of Police Chester Williams sat down with Rear Admiral Elton Bennett on Tuesday to discuss a way forward for the police department and the coast guard to work together, along with the Belize Defense Force, to intercept drug runners who traffic narcotics through the country. The Belize Coast Guard is presently at the helm of the Joint Intelligence Operations Center, a position that is rotated among the three organizations that comprise the national security apparatus. When the BCG took command of the intelligence gathering office, a position was taken that details would only be shared with police on a need-to-know basis, since it is believed that members of that department may have used privileged information to facilitate drug trafficking activities. That firewall certainly raised the ire of the ComPol, who argues that rogue officers can be found in all three organizations.


Chester Williams

Chester Williams, Commissioner of Police

“We arrived at an amicable resolution to the issue. It cannot be that there is going to be no working relationship between the police and the coast guard.”



“I heard that they had instituted that though.”


Chester Williams

“Yes, we are members of this country’s security apparatus and it is imperative that we work together. And so, yes, Mr. Bennett, as he has said publicly that he had given an administrative instruction for his people not to work with the police, I do not believe that that is in the purview of Mr. Bennett as the commander of coast guard. And so we discussed that yesterday and we agreed that moving forward that we’re going to work together. I can tell you boastfully so that the past five interceptions we have had was through police work, good police work, and while yes I agree that we do have police officers who are involved, I will also go to say that the intelligence is that there are members of all the security forces involved. We cannot be naïve to believe that only police officers are involved for me, recognizing and accepting that police officers are involved, it helps me to be able to do my best to find those who are involved and deal with them. If I sit and say that my department is squeaky clean and the members of my department who are dirty hear me say that then they continue to be dirty because they are hearing it from the man at the top that they are clean. We have to be honest and truthful to ourselves and don’t be naïve to believe that our department is clean. It was annoying and that’s the reason why I had asked that we meet and discuss the matter. I believe that as heads of two of the very important security forces we needed to dialogue and see how we can resolve the issue and I was happy that he was come to the table and we were able to resolved the matter.”

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