General — 19 June 2019 — by Rowland A. Parks
The embarrassing police promotion exam failure rate, and the departmental silence

BELIZE CITY, Fri. June 14, 2019– The Belize Police Department has been silent after the news got out that there was an 80 percent failure rate at the recently held police promotion exams, which leaves the department with a number of vacant spots that need to be filled.

Commissioner of Police Chester Williams, who has always been forthcoming with the media, has been silent on what could be perceived as a major embarrassment on his watch, that a large number of policemen and women failed to make the promotion grade, putting the department in a predicament in terms of promoting the officers to the vacant posts which need to be filled.

Almost 900 police officers took the exam, from constables right up to the rank of inspectors. There were 194 officers who passed the test, but that number is small in comparison to the 684 officers whose knowledge of the questions about community policing programs, identifying various types of crimes and domestic violence scenarios fell short.

One section of the media reported that when he was asked about the dismal performance in the police department’s exam, CEO in the Ministry of National Security, retired BDF Colonel, George Lovell, remarked that he had not yet seen the results of the exam.

While Commissioner Williams did not make any public comment about the dismal performance of his officers, he took the time out to write them a letter, offering congratulations to the ones who passed the promotional exam, and to the ones who did not make it, he still had kind, encouraging words for them.

Commissioner Williams wrote: “Please accept my congratulations to those of you who were successful in the promotional exam. And to those who were not, I say you tried and fell short, but that does not mean that you are dumb and do not know your job. The exam was a high-level one and there are several factors that can cause one to fail an exam; therefore, in some way or the other, you were all successful.”

Amandala attempted to get comments from retired high-ranking police officers, but no one wanted to comment, and some of our phone calls were not answered.

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