BELIZE CITY, Thurs. Apr. 25, 2019– Since assuming the office of Commissioner of Police earlier this year, Commissioner Chester Williams and the Belize Police Association have been at loggerheads, after Williams came up with a Statutory Instrument, which placed a two-year limit on the term an officer can serve as the president of the Belize Police Association.
Today, the Caribbean Federation of Police Welfare Association (CFPWA) came out swinging in a press release which characterized the actions of Commissioner Williams as a personal attack on Corporal Eldon Arzu, who was recently elected as president of the Belize Police Association.
The latest incident in the saga is that Williams recently ordered that a hold be put on Arzu’s salary because he had failed to show up for work in Belmopan, after he was transferred there.
The CFPWA press release said that they have been observing the situation in Belize, for some time now and they have even written the former Commissioner of Police on the matter, “requesting a meeting, offering its services to mediate in an effort to bring to an end the unhealthy situation that continues to worsen up to today’s date. This is unfortunate as there seems to be a lack of interest in abating the negative and injurious effects of the continued situation.”
The CFPWA release went on to note a sequence of events which began to unfold from January 9, 2019, when elections of the Belize Police Association were held and Corporal Arzu was elected.
CFPWA said the Commissioner of Police refused to recognize the decision of the membership and the bank account of the Association was frozen due to the ongoing situation.
“On March 21st, 2019 the matter was placed before the Court. On April 15th, 2019 the Commissioner froze the salary of Corporal Eldon Arzu in spite that he reports working every day at the Police Welfare Office, which there are records to prove same,” said the CFPWA release.
The CFPWA release added, “Whilst we consider the laws of Belize that govern the Police Welfare Association are inconsistent with modern day practice and procedures, our concern is in the presence of a leadership style which has overridden the inadequacies of the existing laws and made matters worse by imposing a dictatorial style leadership that is transactional and unable to accede to present day practices that embrace mediation as a method of resolving disputes.”
“We consider the actions of the Commissioner of Police to be a personal attack on Corporal Eldon Arzu and we are calling on the Government to respond to this situation which is an abuse of power and an attack on a Police Officer who has committed himself to serve his country,” said the CFPWA release.
“The CFPWA without reservation condemns the actions of the Police Commissioner and calls also on the Association of Caribbean Commissioners of Police (ACCP) to have this matter promptly addressed at their next Annual General Meeting with a view to ensuring Commissioners of Police practice professionalism and good governance in their leadership roles,” the release said.