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Big changes coming to the Gang Suppression Unit (GSU)

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Posted: Tuesday, November 17, 2020. 5:14 pm CST.

By BBN Staff: Both the new Minister of Home Affairs Kareem Musa and the Commissioner of Police Chester Williams agree that the Gang Suppression Unit (GSU) of the Belize Police Department has a reputation associated with police brutality, which is why they announced today that major changes are coming to the GSU.

Musa said today that there will be a rebranding of the unit, which will focus on officers having respect for citizens and increased accountability for their actions.

“We cannot continue as is with business as is the way that the gang suppression unit has been operating in our country, They need to be answerable to somebody. In the past, it was said that they were answerable to no one, and that cannot simply cannot be,” Musa said.

Williams noted that the unit, despite its violent legacy, is a necessity as criminal gangs are a part of society that cannot be ignored.

“Now, do we need such a unit, the answer is yes we do need it but we must look at how we can refocus and redirect what the GSU does, and after we have done the rebranding, we will insert a commander who will be able to fashion that new direction that we want the GSU to go,” Williams said.

He noted that there is a concept document that is guiding the decisions and changes to be made and that it will focus on changing the culture of the unit from the inside. Williams said that apart from installing a new commander, some of the officers within the unit will need to be removed to bring about the kind of change they want to see.

“The truth is GSU in the past have behaved to some extent like animals, treating people how they should not be treated,” Williams added.

He stressed that the new form of the GSU will focus on collecting actionable intelligence, so the unit can perform necessary interventions to curb gang activity.

 

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