Headline — 12 January 2019 — by Rowland A. Parks
Chester Williams new Commissioner of Police

The new top cop says that he aims to reduce the murder rate

BELIZE CITY, Wed. Jan. 9, 2019– On Tuesday, a government press release announced that Deputy Commissioner of Police, Chester Williams, LLB, CLE, was appointed to the post of Commissioner of Police with effect from January 9. It is the first time in the history of the Belize Police Department that a trained attorney will serve as the country’s top cop.

Commissioner Williams, a 27-year veteran of the Belize Police Department, replaces Allen Whylie, who has been serving in the post since 2013, and has had one of the longest runs as Commissioner of Police.

Reporters caught up with Commissioner Williams today and he said that he was humbled and honored by the appointment.

“I am honored and humbled to have been given the opportunity to serve my country in the capacity of Commissioner of Police. I would also like to take the opportunity to thank my predecessor, Mr. Whylie, for the great job that he has done and for the opportunity that he gave me and the things I learnt from him. And going forward, I’ll be looking at the things that he had put in place and see where I can improve on them and make the Belize Police Department become more effective. I also take the opportunity to thank the Prime Minister and his government,” Commissioner Williams said.

Commissioner Williams takes the reins of the Belize Police Department at a critical juncture in its history. Last year, Belize recorded a record number of murders, putting the country’s murder rate at the top of the region. Many of the killings have been occurring on the south side of Belize City, which continues to be plagued by the presence of a number of criminal gangs which are incessantly at war with each other.

When he was asked what can be expected from his leadership at the Belize Police Department, Commissioner Williams explained that one of his main areas of focus will be on reducing the murder rates in the country.

“My main area of focus will be on reducing murders, and that will be done through concentrating on gangs and domestic violence issues, because those are the two leading causes of murders in our country,” Commissioner Williams said.

Belize’s top cop added, “I believe that if we can address those adequately, especially in Belize City, then we should be able to see a significant reduction in our murder count come the end of the year 2019. So I am taking over at a time when it is difficult, one would say, but I don’t see it as a task that is not capable of achieving. I will tell you that I feel confident with my supporting staff and we will be meeting over the next couple of days to look at developing policies and the way forward. And when that is done, we will then be meeting with the general body to explain to them what the new course will be for the Belize Police Department.”

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