BELIZE CITY, Wed. July 8, 2015–Veteran tough cop and past Commander of Crimes Investigation Branch of Eastern Division, Senior Superintendent Chester Williams, fresh from law school in Barbados and now the holder of a law degree, is now the new Commanding Officer of Police with responsibility for the Belize City Southside, the area of the country with the highest crime rate — with murders being carried out by cold-hearted criminals on an all-too frequent basis.
The ruthlessness of the criminals in the area is reflected by the fact that in a short span of time in one particular neighbourhood, three people were killed senselessly, including the hardworking and outstanding Kareem Clarke, a reporter for the Amandala, just hours before Williams took over the high office on Monday morning.
The announcement was made yesterday, Tuesday, at a police press brief at the Racoon Street police headquarters.
Williams said that he will use whatever means necessary to impact the crime situation and lower the high rate of crime in his area, and bring a sense of safety and security to the residents of the area.
Williams said that among the means he will use to carry out the challenging task, will be to implement a new and re-organized policing strategy, with strong emphasis on community policing. He will work with the Belize City Council to establish a ticketing system, because he does not wish to have his officers tied up in dealing with “Quality of Life” infractions such as riding a bicycle without a bell and other minor offenses.
He will emphasize the involvement of policemen in community activities. Williams said that he has no objection to meeting with gang leaders, as long as it would lead to a crime reduction, but he will not “pussy-foot” with them, nor will he tolerate them if they insist on committing crime.
Williams explained that there is now a new configuration at the Eastern Division Police. There are now three Commanding Officers; he is now Commander of Belize City Southside, and Superintendent Alden Dawson is his Deputy. Their area comprised of Precinct 1 and Precinct 2.
Precinct 1 is comprised of areas from Birds Isle to Belcan Bridge, keeping on the right side from the center of the Haulover River, to Belcan Bridge, turning left all the way to the sea at the Deep Water Port, keeping on the right side of the center of the Central American Boulevard and all that area, turning north along the sea to Birds Isle.
Precinct 2 is comprised of the area from Belcan Bridge to the Deep Water Port, with the Central American Boulevard as the north buffer. On the west it runs on the right center of the river to Mile 6 on the George Price Highway, and on the East from the Deep Water Port, along the sea to the Mile 6 Bridge from the sea. The river at the Mile 6 Bridge forms the southern buffer.
Williams said that Assistant Commissioner of Police, Dezerie Philips, is the Commanding Officer of Precinct 3 and Precinct 4, including the cayes, San Pedro and Caye Caulker, while Senior Superintendent Edward Broaster is the Commanding Officer of Belize District Rural police on the mainland.
Williams said that the move is being made in an effort to bring a change to Belize City. He said that he will have no tolerance for police brutality and mistreatment of the public by policemen under his command, and he will collaborate with the media to re-emphasize community policing.