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Eight police officers dismissed, including four linked to Bladen drug plane landing and murders

Chester Williams, Commissioner of Police

Posted: Monday, December 11, 2023. 9:12 pm CST.

By Aaron Humes: 13 months after being accused of orchestrating the landing of a drug plane on the Southern highway near Bladen back in 2021, former Sergeant of Police George Ferguson; former Corporals of Police Delwin Casimiro and Elmer Nah, and former Constable Nelson Middleton have been dismissed from the Belize Police Department on the order of Commissioner Chester Williams.

They are among eight officers sent home last week, along with Nah’s brother-in-law Manuel Caliz among others.

According to the Commissioner, the dismissed officers have been accused of multiple incidents, up to and including, in Nah’s case, murder: “While yes some of those matters are before the court, and they have been tried in [disciplinary] tribunal in some instances and were acquitted, it is our humble view that in light of all these allegations that surround these officers, when you take that and put it alongside public concern, in respect of these officers, how the public sees them, it is not a good view for us.”

Complying, he continued, with due process, each of the men were sent “show-cause” letters to argue their case against dismissal from the Department. After receiving responses from their attorneys and reviewing them, the Commissioner said, “…[using] my discretion, having due consideration to what they responded and the allegations and based on that I terminated them, under the ground that they have ceased to perform as efficient officers which is provided for in the Police Act.”

Commissioner Williams fully expects that his decision will be challenged in court and is prepared to answer for it. Public concern played a part, but not the majority, role in the decision but he acknowledged that the Department could not afford the further stain of being associated with the quartet.

While the dismissal letters were signed by Acting Commissioner of Police Bart Jones after the Commissioner’s departure last week, he said he personally reviewed the responses and minuted the responses to the legal office which prepared the dismissal letters, which is headed by Deputy Commissioner Jones – but it is the Commissioner’s sole authority to dismiss a police officer and his responsibility for the dismissal of these eight.

 

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