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Police taking “dreadlocks” issue to the Solicitor General

Posted: Friday, May 3, 2019. 9:06 am CST.

By BBN Staff: The Belize Police Department has decided to take the issue of the seven female officers being disciplined for having dreadlocks, over to the Office of the Solicitor General ( SOLGen)  for a legal opinion.

Commissioner of Police (COMPOL) Chester Williams explained yesterday evening that the disciplinary proceedings against the officers will be put on hold while the department awaits advice from the office of the SOLGen.

“This is being done in the interest of fairness to the officers as well as to ensure the department does not incur unnecessary expense or waste time in court fighting something that may be able to resolve otherwise,” Williams said.

He added that the Police  Standing Orders speaks clearly on the issue of how officers are to keep their hair, but the department still feels it prudent to obtain a legal opinion on the matter. Williams has stressed on several occasions that the department is an organization of discipline. He acknowledges that the officers in question are dedicated to their job, but the issue is one that extends beyond them.

” If we want to ensure public trust and confidence in our ability to effectively fight crime in this country improve, then we must start by ensuring that we can abide by our internal rules, and we cannot cherry-pick which ones we must enforce and which ones we must disobey,” Williams added.

The situation has sparked huge public outcry on social media, as Belizeans have been registering their discontent with Williams’ decision to enforce the Standing Orders, which he notes were in place even before his time as ComPol began.

 

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