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Commissioner of Police speaks to the creation of Legal Affairs and Compliance Branch of Police Department

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Posted: Friday, May 6, 2022. 8:14 am CST.

Photo Credit: Channel 5 News

By Aaron Humes: The Commissioner of Police Chester Williams has responded to suggestions that the Police Department is “top-heavy” with a recently added third Deputy Commissioner of Police.

Deputy Commissioner Bart Jones, like his boss, is a trained attorney-at-law. He joins the deputies for administration (Desiree Magdaleno) and operations (Dr Richard Rosado) and presides over what is known as the research, planning, legal affairs and compliance (RPLAC) unit.

“One of the major issues we have had in the police is the fact that we have not been able to hold police officers accountable for wrongdoing, and so the office of Legal Affairs and Compliance Branch, which is now headed by DCP Bart Jones, is now responsible to ensure that there is proper compliance with every policy that we have,” said Commissioner Williams on the LOVE FM Morning Show, adding that the new office serves as a “check-and-balance” and a sort of internal affairs unit for the Department.

It was important, Williams added, that the post is subordinate only to the Commissioner: “When [police officers] do something wrong, he is the police to ensure they are properly policed.”

The unit was also created to ensure more accountability with donations, particularly from the U.S. Embassy, and with its establishment, they will provide a grant to furnish the two already identified buildings where it will be housed and equip the unit to perform its functions.

If the Police are to account for their actions, then it needs an internal unit to help, the Commissioner said. No one in their right mind should object, especially because he as Commissioner does not micromanage officers.

Of the Assistant Commissioners, two are in the largest divisions serving the most populated areas of the country: Eastern Division (the Belize District and particularly Belize City) and Western Division (the Cayo District including Belmopan, San Ignacio/Santa Elena Town and Benque Viejo Town). The others are all based in Belmopan, heading, respectively, management services, crime investigation (CIB), and operations, while ACP Marlon Allen acts as deputy to Jones.

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