BELIZE CITY, Thurs. Feb. 7, 2019– Newly appointed Commissioner of Police, Chester Williams, held a meeting yesterday with members of all the major media houses in Belize City in an effort to strengthen the sometimes strained relationship between the media and the police department.
In the meeting, the ComPol asked for more reciprocity between the police department and the media, claiming that they have not been reaping as many benefits from the relationship as the media has. He laid out some suggestions on how the media should move forward when reporting stories relating to crime.
He also asked for more highlighting of the good work that police do, so as to showcase a better image of the police department to the public. He requested the airing of different ads related to domestic abuse, so as to give the public reminders of what they could do should they find themselves in certain situations.
The police department’s Director of Media and Public Relations, Douglas Hyde, said that they are looking for ways to continue building the department’s relationship with the media as well as ways to properly share information with them in a timely and reasonable manner.
Hyde said the first step was the creation of the post he currently holds —media and public relations director — and appointing someone to play that role at the Commissioner’s office, and that this is the first time the position was given to a civilian. He said that bridging this gap between the ComPol’s office and the media will be beneficial, helping to strengthen the relationship.
Hyde said that mutual trust between the two sets of professionals is very important in continuing to develop confidence in the working relationship that has existed between the media houses and the police department.