Posted: Friday, June 14, 2019. 3:46 pm CST.
By Aaron Humes: More than three-quarters, 77 percent, of the 869 police officers who recently sat examinations for promotion within the Belize Police Department, failed the written examination.
Police Commissioner Chester Williams has upheld the tradition of keeping those grades an internal secret, but the results were leaked on Thursday to Channel 5 News.
It has been noted that in addition to the degree of difficulty of the exam itself, held on May 4, participating officers get at most one month to prepare to remember a volume of information, sandwiched around their daily duties. The results speak poorly of those asked to maintain law and order in a society that has seen a breakdown over decades, helped in no small part by the courts releasing accused criminals regularly because of slipshod police investigations.
Corozal’s pass rate was just 17% of the 42 constables, corporals, and sergeants seeking to move up in rank; Orange Walk came in at 24%, and the Belize District and Cayo Districts just 22% each. The Southern Region of Stann Creek and Toledo Districts was the best of the bunch at 28% passing.
The Department has grown its capacity to nearly 3,000, most among the security services; but initial training is only for six months and there is no indication of continuing education and training to keep skills sharp. Some officers have gone abroad for advanced courses and training including Williams himself, who has a law degree and has taught some classes for university students.
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