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ComPol and female officers at odds over hair regulations

Posted: Wednesday, April 3, 2019. 10:07 am CST.

By BBN Staff: Commissioner of Police, Chester Williams, and some female members of the Belize Police Department are at odds over a decision to enforce an existing rule that female officers must keep their hair above shoulder-length.

Reports are that some members have taken issue with the enforcement to the point of seeking legal advice on whether it can be challenged in court. In an interview with Channel 5, Williams, who has said on numerous occasions that the department is an entity of rules and discipline, said that the rules were in place before he became commissioner and every officer knew of them coming into the department.

“You cannot go into an organization, knowing what the rules are and expect that you are going to change it when you get there,” Williams said.

He explained that there is a practical reason for the rule, noting that in the event a female officer has to break up a fight or ends up having to get physical with a suspect, the hair below the shoulder could be used against them. But he also stressed that police officers being able to follow their own code of ethics is paramount to the department being able to uphold the law.

 

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