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Commissioner of Police completes five years on job

Posted: Saturday, January 13, 2024. 7:12 pm CST.

By Aaron Humes: Commissioner of Police Chester Williams has thanked the people he serves and leads – both the ordinary population as well as the men and women of the Belize Police Department and Government of Belize – after completing five years on the job on Monday, January 8.

Williams, who succeeded Allen Whylie in 2019 after a long and varied career including as officer commanding Eastern Division and has kept up a steady public presence as the face and often voice of the Department, states that “Without you all I would not have made it this far.”

He wrote on social media, “I must say that it has been a bitter sweet moment. Serving my country is my passion and I thank God every day for giving me the strength, courage, patience and knowledge to discharge my duties in the most professional way even under difficult circumstances.”

Williams has presided over one of the toughest periods for the Department, with increased scrutiny from the public, a pandemic shortening resources and the added headache of monitoring transnational crime linked to drug trafficking.

However, he didn’t have to reach far for a list of accomplishments when addressing the press on Wednesday: “Certainly to ensure that the amount of complaints of police brutality decrease by over 50 percent, it’s a huge accomplishment as well as the fact that I can say throughout my five years tenure as commissioner, every year we have seen that the murder count continue to decline as opposed to before where we were seeing it just go up, so those for me are extremely critical because saving lives is important and to have a department that respects the human rights and dignity of people is also important so making sure that we continue to decrease the amount of complaints against police, police brutality is certainly a huge accomplishment for us.”

And he added that despite the many “sleepless nights” – including probably a few in the last few days after another flare-up of violence in the Old Capital – “…when we get the results that we are getting now, the sleepless nights are worthwhile. As a department, we are committed and I must thank my commanders because it’s not just me, my commanders on the ground in the respective regions also play an important role in making sure we achieve our objectives and more so my minister, very supportive of the work that we do, always joining us and seeing what he can do to help us be able to deal with whatever situation. So looking forward for 2024 and we’re going to try our best to make 2024 an even better year.”

Completing 2024 would make Williams the longest-tenured Commissioner for some time, but he did not hesitate to say no when asked if he could go for another five years. Only last year, he had to take back a leaked report saying he had put in for retirement early.

 

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