BELIZE CITY, Wed. July 8, 2020– The Police Department will no longer be allowing its officers to work at nightclubs. The announcement was made by Commissioner of Police Chester Williams during a press brief yesterday. The move is aimed at ensuring that police officers do not become infected with the COVID-19 virus through contact with club goers who violate the COVID-19 regulations by not wearing a mask as required by law, and by not socially distancing.
Williams said that when he visited a nightclub in an effort to assess the extent to which COVID-19 safety measures were being followed, he observed that the club was crowded, and many were not wearing masks and were not making an effort to engage in social distancing. There were no barriers to prevent a club-goer, if that club-goer was infected with coronavirus, from passing on the virus to others in the club. He thus came to the conclusion that policemen who work at such clubs could become infected with the virus in such a setting.
He said that even if policemen are off-duty and they are called to work at the clubs to provide security and to maintain order, they are forbidden to do so, and if they are caught working in a nightclub, they will be disciplined by the department for violating the Commissioner’s orders.
Commissioner Williams said that club owners must ensure that they comply with the regulations and enforce the wearing of masks and the observance of social distancing in their establishment.
This is not the first time that a Police Commissioner has ordered policemen to stop working at nightclubs. In 2018, Commissioner of Police Allen Whylie had ordered policemen to stop working at nightclubs, saying that the Police Department was not a security company and that approval to work at a nightclub must be first obtained and clearance made through the Office of the Commissioner of Police, but such approval requests would likely be denied.
Commissioner Whylie had said that enough time had to be given so that inspection of the club could be done before consideration could be given to requests by policemen to work at the nightclubs.