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Belize Police Department prioritizes officers’ mental health and wellness

Posted: Wednesday, January 24, 2024. 9:31 am CST.

By Zoila Palma Gonzalez: The Belize Police Department continues to prioritize the mental health and wellness of police officers around the country.

Commissioner of Police, Chester Williams says that the department encourages voluntary counselling but at times, the provisions of the police act are invoked and it then becomes mandatory for some officers.

“I must commend our psychiatrist Mr. Lesley. He is doing an exceedingly good job and moving around the country speaking to our officers and identifying those officers with various issues whether it is psychological issues, financial issues, domestic issues alcoholism he is identifying them for us, and with that we are able to know, see how we can navigate the process of counseling we would normally request the officers do voluntary counseling, but when we see that they refuse to undergo voluntary counseling, then we invoke the provisions of the police act and would make it mandatory,” Williams said.

Williams added that the Belize Police Department also sensitizes officers to understand why they would need counseling.

In addition, the Belize Police Department is embarking on another project to have someone trained in financial literacy visit officers across the country and teach them financial literacy skills.

“Some of the issues that they do have is that of financial constraints and that may come about because they don’t know how to properly budget what they make so we have already commissioned a person to go around the country and try to see how they can help our officers to be able to have proper management of the finances and hopefully they will be able to improve their way of life and remove some of the problems that they have financially,” Williams said.

 

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