Citizens Organized for Liberty through Action (COLA) today released a series of files detailing correspondence between the Police Association and the Police Department high command dating back to 2011.
The files, it says, “detail an increasing frustration with the Police High Command’s inability and unwillingness to meet with the Police Association over its grievances concerning the constables, corporals and sergeants it represents. It is clear that the Department has not only not made itself available to discuss and remedy these concerns; it prefers to cover up its inefficiency by not allowing the Association to seek help from other quarters on the basis of going against regulations.”
The Association complains of treatment of officers working on the vehicular checkpoint patrols on the George Price and Philip Goldson Highway, saying they have been left on their own without food, water, bathroom facilities and vehicles, and are stiffed on pay and working hours, as they are forced to work 12 hours at a time.
The Association also appears to have taken up the case of interdicted cop Dayton Sacasa, who was accused of extortion but saw the charges dropped earlier this year. However, Commissioner Allen Whylie told the cop to stay home while a decision was made, and ultimately the Department decided to continue the interdiction, warning that while the charges were dropped as a result of his accusers deciding not to pursue court action, his alleged behavior was still considered worrying for the Department..
According to COLA it wants to “give voice to the voiceless of the Police Department [and] put in the public view the many abuses officers suffer on a daily basis from their own high command.”
It accuses Commissioner Whylie of being “overmatched in his duties,” fingers the “political directorate including the Minister of National Security and his CEO” for appearing “directionless and concerned more with appearances that true development of the most important section of our law enforcement sector;” and slams the Government, which it says “has failed to secure the welfare of our most valuable public servants, those who put their lives on the line daily, often at great personal and family cost, to ensure that Belize remains safe and secure.”