Over one hundred new policemen and women joined the ranks of the Belize Police Department today; but their graduation has been overshadowed by the stunning conviction of career police officer Corporal Gino Peck, 42.
Corporal Peck was found guilty of charges of keeping ammunition without a gun license and keeping prohibited ammunition.
There has been near unanimous support for the veteran police officer from virtually every sector of the community.
And today, more support came in, this time from no less than the Commissioner of Police Allen Whylie himself. A statement put out by the police press officer announced that the police department will be bearing the full cost of appealing Corporal Peck’s conviction.
The statement says: “the Belize Police Department is saddened by the manner in which the decision to proceed with criminal charges against Corporal Peck was made in January 2012 as the department is confident that it could have been properly dealt with through its own internal disciplinary process.”
That opportunity, Commissioner Whylie lamented, was not afforded him. “It is unfortunate that we are at a point where a long serving member of the department is facing a jail sentence for a matter that could have been handled internally,” said the release.
The statement ends by saying that “the commissioner wishes to assure its members and the general public that the department will work assiduously to ensure that fairness and equal treatment of all officers are maintained in the Belize Police Department.”
The attorney for Corpoal Peck, Senior Counsel Simeon Sampson will present a plea for mitigation on Friday morning before the Chief Magistrate Anne Marie Smith hands down sentence on Corporal Peck.
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