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COMPOL on police officers’ health condition

GeneralCOMPOL on police officers’ health condition

Due to long working hours, unhealthy eating habits, irregular eating routines, and lack of exercise, the health of police officers is deteriorating, says the COMPOL

by Charles Gladden

BELMOPAN, Tues. Sept. 13, 2022

Within the span of just a few weeks, the Belize Police Department has been mourning the premature deaths of at least three of its officers between the ages of twenty-five and fifty-two who passed away in the middle of their sleep and were found dead by their spouses, possibly due to poor health conditions.

One of the premature deaths that caught the attention of the media was that of PC Kinsley Duncan from the Cayo District, who was found lifeless by his spouse on Thursday, September 8, at around 5:00 a.m. Duncan’s wife said that he had complained of lower back pain earlier that night, and had taken two 400mg Ibuprofen tablets before going to sleep but that when she went to check on him the following morning, he was unresponsive. Before Duncan’s unforeseen death, on September 1, another police officer passed away in his sleep and was also found by his spouse.

While commenting on the premature deaths during a police press briefing on Monday, Police Commissioner Chester Williams noted that a number of police officers are considered overweight and unhealthy, and he pointed to irregular eating routines, long work hours, and unhealthy eating habits as factors that have contributed to the officers’ poor health.

“Certainly, the health of everybody should concern us. What many people don’t understand or appreciate is that as police officers, due to work hours, we have bad eating habits. Either, we don’t eat on time or we end up eating unhealthy. If it is that, we are not engaged in working out, doing some physical activity to keep our body at a certain level then certainly your health can deteriorate, and very quickly. I myself take it upon myself to ensure I work out every day. At times it is very difficult, but if not in the evening time I work out in the morning time [because] I do recognize that sometime I am here all day, the work is so much when I do realize I forgot to eat. When I do realize it is after five in the evening. It is that difficult at times. The policeman out on the streets, it is the same thing for them, many of them are working areas they don’t live [in] so they would have to resort to buying food and many times the food you are buying from the street corner or Asian restaurant are not healthy food. So, it is concerning,” he said.

According to the COMPOL, he intends to let several nutritionists speak to the officers at the different police stations about healthy eating.

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