BELIZE CITY, Thurs. May 2, 2019– Six women police officers who after several warnings chose to violate the police dress code by wearing dreadlocks while in their uniform, have been placed on disciplinary charges and will be tried internally by a police court. If found guilty they will be fined and if they insist on wearing the dreadlocks hair style they will be encouraged to resign from the Police Department.
The announcement was made today by ACP Dezerie Philips Magdaleno during the weekly police press brief held at the Raccoon Street Police Station. ACP Magdaleno said that the police department is a disciplined body that is governed by rules and regulations, and there are regulations governing the dress and appearance of police officers, one of which is that the wearing of dreadlocks is not allowed because the police cap cannot be set on the head properly. She said that this hairstyle also poses a safety issue if the female officer should get into a scuffle when making an arrest, and that wearing the hair so long does not lend to proper turnout and bearing.
ACP Magdaleno said the move is not to discriminate against the dreadlocks hair style; rather it is to follow the dress code, because discipline in the department is being eroded, so they have to take a stand and enforce the regulation. ACP Magdaleno said that there are about 400 women police officers in the department and they all follow the dress codes, except for these six officers. According to Magdaleno, there is a committee that is reviewing the dress code with the aim to improve it, and the wearing of dreadlocks while in uniform was not even considered.
However, latest information to us this evening is that the charging of the women police officers has been put on hold. The Commissioner of Police has forwarded the case to the Attorney General’s Office for his perusal and his legal advice.