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Oct 31, 2011

Cops get legal advice about promotions

Anthony Sylvester

A group of police officers, who were sidelined and not promoted will firstly be seeking direct intervention by the Commissioner of Police, Crispin Jeffries. And for now, court action will not be the first route; at least not yet, says Attorney Anthony Sylvester, who is the legal representative of eight police officers ranging from the ranks constables to corporal. These officers are aggrieved over the published list of officers up for promotion within the department. The officers, who remain unnamed at this time, are not in agreement with the list because they say they have met the requirements. The officers, according to their attorney, say that it is unfair that others, who didn’t necessarily earn the required grades, are being promoted. Sylvester says they will follow the proper channels and send a written communication to the Commissioner of Police.

Anthony Sylvester, Attorney

“There were of course some rumors that these officers were seeking or are trying to seek going to the court and obtain an injunction but I have advised these officers and quite properly in trying to resolve the matter quite properly at this time that what ought to be done is to write to the Commissioner of the Police and indicate the various complaints and grievances that these officers have and see if the issue can be resolved and try to see if we can persuade the Commissioner of Police in this regard. But generally speaking as it relates to the police promotions, there is a body of regulations known as the police promotion regulations which provides the criteria for promotions. And there are two criteria—firstly in order for a person to be considered for a promotion, the person must satisfy that they must qualify in first aid training, they must have passed a written examination. And having satisfied those two requirements, they become eligible to appear before a promotional board who would thereafter consider other matters such as their character, their leadership quality and discipline. So as I indicated, we will be writing to the commissioner and seeking to get some clarification with respect to these officers who at the very least have passed the written examination and many of them have been exemplary police officers in their own right. So they naturally feel a grievance. So we are taking this course at this juncture and see where this leads from there.”

Andrea Polanco

“Should the reply from the ComPol be an unfavorable one, how do you go about proceeding from there?”

Anthony Sylvester

“Well that is where we would then get into the arena of the Court, but I want to think that the nature of the matter and that it has potential to create issues with respect to the rank and file of the department, I’m pretty sure the police commissioner, having been presented with the facts of the individual officer’s case, I’m sure might be able to persuade him in a number of them because the facts are clear and brought out in the correspondence that we will be submitting to him.”

Sylvester says the records of the officers speak volumes to their merit for promotion. The list includes officers with eight to eighteen years in the force.

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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21 Responses for “Cops get legal advice about promotions”

  1. Storm says:

    I’m generally so disgusted with our police that I would sack the lot of them and start over. They should ALL have to re-apply and get trained to a basic level of competence.

    Promotions should be based on some measure of success in protecting the public and convicting criminals, not on how long they have held the job.

  2. Horn says:

    I must say that it is good to see that police officers in Belize are finally standing up for something. They have been taken advantage of for far too long. The only thing, talk among police officers here is that one of the main instigators behind this whole move, was one who, under the last administration, desired to have had his quick promotion challenged as well.

    The whole issue of the police promotion problem needs to be looked into a great depths. It steams from a an inherent problem of not having a properly structured sucession plan as we have in the Belize Defence Force. In the BDF, personnel are prepared for the next rank and only promoted after they have qualified. This is not really adhered to with the police. The, new piece, and I guess the officers supplying the information, refers to the those officers who failed the examination. I am sure that the exam is not the only criteria for promotion. However, my point is, in all fairness, were proper time and resources given to ALL officers in preparation for the exam. I don’t think so. In contract with the BDF, prior to promotional exams, we have personnel taken on training courses called cadre which prepares them for the exam. This gives everyone a more fighting chances at the exams. On that note, I could not help but notice that in news cast on channel 7 which showed exam results, no mention was made as to the posting of those officers who fail in comparison to those who passed. Were the ones who passed more in the clerical or desk job field that they had more time to study as oppose to officers who are working in the field, and taken up with testifying in court etc.

    To solve the ever present promotion problem with the police, the administration needs to have the relevant personnel visit with the BDF and see what we have in place on the whole issue of qualification for promotion. This is no was suggesting that the BDF system is perfect , but the police might be able to adapt some of the best practices.

    We await the outcome of this one.

  3. ger says:

    commissioner is too chancy, he promote Jemoth who failed the exam also Hernandez who didn’t even sat the exam, likewise WSgt Pook from Benque have been promoted who also failed the exam and make things worst WCpl Flowers from San Ignacio was promoted who even can’t conduct an Identification Parade, what a shame and disgrace, this department is going to hell with Crispin Jeffries.

  4. frustrated!!!! says:

    This has been happening for years now and it all started under Compol J. C. Zetina because the persons he wanted to promote could not pass any exams!!!

    I can remember many days under that administration when in meetings we could not even speak out our opinion because we would have been punished. (Nah was actually locked down in cell block by Sgt Henry for speaking out.) We were being threatened to work extra duties and a selected few would always be pampered and well taken care of. That gave rise to the Ms. Leslie crew — which got many promoted because they were friends of the administration whilst others had to stand aside.

    This is so frustrating and this is only a tip of the iceburge!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  5. Stephen says:

    We all need to look at it from a different angle, those police officer making noise that they do not get promoted is because of some other reason. Sure they pass the exam but they might have something else wrong. perhaps dirty or too lazy or cannot perform practical duties. We have police that are book smart but just do not work or follow instructions. look at the BDF they are well discipline regardless of education they are properly train then get promoted and they follow instructions. I have friends in the BDF that did not went to high school and holds high rank where I also have some with 5 CXC Diploma and do not have a stripe. We must all learn that it is up to us to be prepared in all aspect to perform our duties we must not blame no one when we do not meet the requirements to get promoted. We must all learn to be followers before we can be leaders and most of us look at it that we have CXC or degree so we must get promoted. There are a lot of us that got all the diplomas however we have no common sense or discipline to lead so we just have to stay behind. An example in the police department is Cardinal Smith and Sinquest hard working and they get promoted.

  6. Benqueno says:

    To “HORN”…you mean Chester Williams the PUP blue eye buay????? who is furthering his studies somewhere in the Caribbean to become an attorney….well thank the good lord the PUP is in shambles or else this brute will ensure that his favorites get promoted as well….

    And in regards to the police promotion there are some Police Officers who are good at the books but are heavy in actually doing whats in the books “Lazy brutes” all they do is gossip…no arrest, no court experience but yet they cry when times like these hit on them…because their personal achievements and performance is lower that an infant performance…and that shouldn’t be accepted much less tolerated as it is a discipline department…shame for them that they want a promotion but yet are not qualified to hold the horse by the reins…

  7. 123!!!! says:

    The problem with the Dept from my point of view is the lack of properly educated senior officers in management position. Since the change from a police force to a Department a likely change should have taken place in the mentality of the senior officers. But their mind is still set in the past. Management principles have changed — it is no longer right to force officers to work as the term implies (Police Force.) Treat officers like they are nobody!

    Much more needs to be done in the personnel section of the department — Old officers in management position should be looking out for the younger officers coming up — not for themselves!!!! Police trust fund and other funds must be audited –as it has long been rumured that senior officers have taken from the fund and not paid back!!!

    Promotions must be in accordance with the police act –not based on favouritism—-to be promoted to Inspector and above officers must have atleast an Associates Degree!!!!! Superintendents should have a Bachelors Degree or Higher qualifications and so on!!!!!

    This is the onlyway the community will have confidence in dealing with the police. We will know that COMPITENT officers are in Management position — District officers must have some sort of management Degree— Head CIB Must have an investigative Degree or any degree —- Head Prosecution Branch must be a Lawyer or have a degree — it is not hard to see why police prosecutors only win a hand full of cases!!!!! How in the world a two weeks or three weeks prosecutors training can let a police prosecutor stand up in court against a seasoned Lawyer!!!!!!!!

    Cant anyone see THIS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Thanks to Compol J C Zetina for sending the Dept down this road!!!!!

  8. Rick says:

    Stephen — no get mi wrong — but we have a mind fi think.

    It should not be that i have to be a popet to be promoted —- that have long been the culture in this Dept. If i stuck up under Leslie or Guzman or Hendo or Broaster or Jeff or some boss i wa get promoted quicker!!!!

    Whilst this is the norm it has to change — Officers get paid to do a job not to follow nobody!!!!!

    Plus BDF honors your qualifications -with Officers selection – -Police does not — you know why police does not because most of the senior officers are not qualified —

  9. belizeanpride says:

    this is total embarrassment for our country when police seek promotion when they fail basic trainings and still can’t give the protection needed to the public. mein soon they’ll be more corrupted and turn like the mexicans who enroll in criminal activities. we need a complete start over police training for our police force and those that fail enlist as new applicants.

  10. ger says:

    Only 4 persons from San Ignacio got promoted, WCpl Flowers and WCpl Pascasio got promoted to be a Sergeant and honestly they can’t even run a relief, they are the two most shady and lazy Corporals that they have at San Ignacio, they cry and complained too much, they depend on their husband to get their job done, alone they don’t know what to do, what a shame and disgrace. Cpl Hernandez who sits in a office in Belmopan his entire career and didn’t even sat the exam got promoted to Sergeant, instead of going forward this Department is going backward thanks to Crispin Jeffries. Four Corporals that passed the exam didn’t got promoted but instead Crispin promoted others that didn’t even passed the exam. I know that everybody can’t get promoted but those that passed the exam must get the first choice, now these poor officers who sat and passed the exam must wait for another promotion, which will be for eternity. To make matter worst Crispin will be promoting some Sergeant to Inspector who haven;t even passed the exam, what kind of Inspector will they be, shame and disgrace, Mark Flowers failed and will be promoted, this Department is in shambles under Crispin Jeffries.

  11. Mar says:

    I will be honest here
    If u did not sit the exam u did not show any interest to be promoted so therefore u should not be promoted(HERNANDEZ). I no for a fact that they are people who past the exam very high and are good workers and have a credible background and was not promoted in this set. This is demoralizining to them and the Compol must take note of what he is doing. Also if u did not past ur exam u should not be promoted and thats final. Thats what the standing orders say u must past ur qualifying exam. How is one suppose to feel if i got 80% and another got 40% and i noh get promoted. What the hell is happening here with this Police Department. Come on we have to change this if the BElize Police Department is to be a professional organization. I can believe it a person with 40% and is being promoted. What kind of animal farm is this.

  12. Bzn2dabone says:

    These police officers should have gotten real legal representation. The “lawyer” representing them will only eat their money and will not achieve there goal. Believe me, I have had a bad experience with this legal representative that I would rather defend myself in court than hire him. Additionally, I don’t know how come he charges so much and lacks the experience of a good lawyer. Come on PCs, look for real and experienced legal representation.

  13. MACAL RIVERA says:


  14. faitful and honest says:

    at Benquenos listen you shouldnt put chester in this he is one of the best senior officer in that department and you dont need a spectacle to see that. firstly he is very ambitious, look at what he has and continues to do, he joined the department with only a primary school leaving certificate and he work his way up to educate himself and today he is at law school to strengthen his knowledge and if you are a police officer my advice to you is to instead of criticing the guy you and the other should try and follow his foot steps. may police officers are in the department who cant even read and write and have rank almost equal to that of chester and they have lest years of service or more so dont even have half the experience that chester have, look at Grinage for example, look at myvette, miguel guzman, hendo, phillips Aaron and miguel guzman, ralph moody, roy joseph please do yourself the favor and go look up their educational background and compare it to that of chester and you will see clearly the difference. but i guess you are one of the udp pigs so you think that chester promotions were attributed to politics well you got it all wrong. and you can now look at the list of promotions now the main issue with it is that its not the compol that made the list its the minister so think about that and if you are smart you will do the maths.
    bye and have a nice day.

  15. Belizean for justice says:

    After watching the 7 news over a period of one week, it is sad to see how the police are suffering. I noticed the 31/10/11 news trying to discredit MAS because of an unfortunate Traffic Accident, and LEMOTH for the loss of a firearm. These people I have known for a very long time to work very hard. No mentioned made that this promotion had long been overdue and these persons should have been promoted long before these incidents occur. No mention made that MAS had recovered and entire truck load of items stolen in Belmopan, and responsible for the conviction, of nearly every offender he takes to the court. Cpl. LEMOTH on the other hand despite all the allegations have been working hard with a vision to change the department and no credit given to him. The same Lemoth is the person that has and continues to train the entire police department and the BDF and get them into the new era of computer technology. So when the minister can go on the media and boast about the the new CIMS and all those things. No mention is made that these officers work damn hard for their promotion and passed their exams. If you search the internet for these names it is highlighted. I have been a student of Lemoth and he is doing a good job. One thing that I can say to these guys is keep your head up and continue to work hard, and dont get discouraged by people like Marla, Stephie and Tucker weh di hate pan unu.

  16. Attorney at law says:

    Rumazz di come straight out a Stephie personell office weh seh dat Limoth and mas promotion cancelled. my advice to unu guys da fi seek legal advice mi breddas. da time fi unu stan up an be strang. and to all the adda police weh di get victimized sue them and mek them pay fi dem injustice to unu caz unu work hard fi unu promotion. i personally work with unu and no wah stand fi si dem chance unu. an limoth you know betta than fi mek them get the betta of you. them fraid fi call the name a di murda suspect but hurry halla you name caz them the try cova dem own stupidness them di do. dem thing da big money star. if you go more into the law yu wa find that weh dem di do you no right. jules hurry the try grab thing and everybady could see da no you dem want get at. dem want know da fi who di gun mi license to and dem cant. dat da who dem di target. dem try mek the news sell wit negative propaganda. even though yu no di get promoted again. try get rich aff a dem head an live large mek dem hate more. at least now you know wat kind a department unu work fa. i mi deh down da same road to so tek mi advice and unu cantinue work hard. tek unu charge and still work haad. i know the hurt limoth feel caz i happen to me too. a get tranfer all bout the place but that nevah stap me. dem done talk wa whole lat a r**s about yu and wa still tell yu everything wa bee ok. well it wont. the scars wah stay deh and the same one dem weh mi di seh jeff blue eye baby di laugh now caz dem mek yu gat black eye. if unu need help lookout fi mi call caz a wa pay lawyer fi unu too. i know y gat clean 10 year record limoth so that wa deh pan u side star. congrats still and work harder mek it hurt them more. I still member when yu mek the biggest attorney look bad eena belmopan court pan dat gun case, so yu could do this too.

  17. ger says:

    Promotion now a days in the Belize Police Department is not based on the fact that you passed an exam, is who you know, who @$$ you can kiss to get it or who can lie down with to get it. It’s a shame what this Police Department have come to. Sgt Barrow just got promoted and the first day he absented himself from duty at San Ignacio and nothing have been done about it, is that the type of leadership we want, what type of example we are setting to the constables, WSgt Pascasio just sits in an office 5 days a week, 8 hours a day and that is the type of person that is being promoted, WSgt Flowers can’t even compiled an Indictable casefile and that is the person that got promoted. Why are we allowing Crispin to be doing what he want, he is a retired Police Officer on contract, it is time for him to go and make way for other young and vibrant Officer like Elodio Aragon Jr. to take command, not David Henderson nor Paul Wade, both are hyprocrites. Then we have Mark Flowers and Santiago Ciau and Henry Jemoth, who all have failed the exam miserably and will get promoted, just because they can kiss @$$ good……….

  18. Horn says:

    Police officers. Please don’t allow the temptation of wanting to ridicule of fellow officers, cause you to post the sort of negativity and personal attack that has been posted here. Don’t get me wrong. It is good to voice our issues, there is not need for the personally and petty attack on persons. Speak to the issues if you must bu, refrain from personal attacks. It very distasteful. Take an example from the BDF.

    I am not suggesting that we have a perfect BDF, but you get the kind of personal attacks you are not likely to see going public. You so see, some readers may brand the entire department, including the makers of the statements , and not just your fellow officers you seek to discredit.

    I would agree that things need changing in that department. However, this might not be the way. I would also like to see officer having this same kind of passion standing up for real issues such as better equipment and conditions of service. Fight to make real change not just the little personal issues such as promotions. This is not to say that the promotion issue is not a major thing that needs changing.

    I think at the end of the day these personal attacks will do more harm that good.
    Just my views.

  19. Justice is from God says:

    God is Good and doesn’t condone injustice !!!!! Do unto others as you would like them do on to you, every vindictive and malicious act you do will return to you it may take time but God doesn’t forget be careful of what comes out from your mouth remember you have children and you don’t know what could be their faith you also have family don’t wish bad or add to gossip to make matters worse for people .”GOSSIP” stinks and you wouldn’t like that for your self because at the end of the day the same ruler with witch you measure your brother with the same will be used to measure you that same stinking garbage you have created against your fellow brothers could come back to you and may be worse and you may wonder why ? God doesn’t abandon his children he makes them stronger even when the storm is kicking and the world is judging and having fun at the hurt of the other no matter what vindictiveness comes your way at the end of the day the last laugh is the best !!! Right now you may be rejoycing at what is happening to your fellow brother instead of sharing his pain and praying for him that God give them the strenght to carry on . This goes to those sisters and brothers who hold the HOLY BIBBLE under their arm and go to church then come to work and gossip and create problems for innocent people Ask your PASTOR and your CHURCH to PRAY for YOU . you NEED it Ask your self this question Is God pleased with me? How would I feel if it was me? Just remember the phrase” today for me tomorrow fi yu!!!!!!!!!!! ” as for the promotion part these same type of Gossips is the only Qualification and exam some of them pass “Take GOSSIP to the BOSS and you automatically PASS” !!!!!!! no need to stress cause it is covered. While the poor honest and upright individual uphold his believes and do the right thing stay up late study and work hard for that promotion and doesn’t get it !!!!!! God BLESS ALL and I will keep praying that God soon turns this Vindictiveness Around and those long deceitful tongues taking control of the situation at POLICE DEPARTMENT right now be put to shame. Cause some of them have dirty linen that is worse than accidentally Knocking down a person and Loss of a firearm . What happens in the DARK will COME to LIGHT and maybe it takes time but someday it will!!!!!!!! For those sisters who have confess their faith in God and in front of a congregation should be ashamed of themselves the BIBLE doesn’t teach VINDICTIVENESS but KINDNESS MEEKNESS LOVE RESPECT AND SELF CONTROL I pray they learn to control YOUR TONGUES and start to practice to do good GOD BLESS YOU and he be the JUDGE

  20. Horn says:

    Justice is from God. You are right on the ball with you comment.

  21. D. Sabal says:

    @HORN, I agree with you ON THE ONE HAND; however, ON THE OTHER HAND, you have to call out injustice and corruption as you see it. This way of life or system have been ongoing for way too long–nothing was ever done as a result of passiveness. Hopefully by calling out individuals, it may bring forth some type of action or results. I don’t believe it’s the intent of anyone to personally attack any officer, but to HIGHLIGHT THE OBVIOUS CORRUPTIONS!!!

    Be well and good nite.

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