The Ministry of the Public Service and the Security Services Commission issued a press release today to clarify concerns with respect to promotions within the Belize Police Department. If you recall, On November 1st a number of promotions from constables through to sergeants were conducted. The promotions within the police department were controversial as the Police Association said that they were seeking a court injunction on the premise that many of the promotions are not merit based. According to the release, the function of promotion rests with the Security Services which delegates its powers to the Commissioner of Police with respect to the lower level ranks within the Police Department. These include Constables, Corporals and Sergeants of Police. Promotions within these ranks are done by way of a Promotion Board making recommendations to the Commissioner of Police. At the Prime Minister’s press conference on Wednesday , the PM made comment on the first set of promotions.
Hon. Dean Barrow, Prime Minister, Belize First of all, it is not the Commissioner who decides on promoting officers, there is a Promotions Board; the Commissioner does not unilaterally decide on a single soul to be promoted. When you are talking about Sergeants to Inspectors, that goes to the Public Services Commission; before you get there, there is the Promotions Board. In terms of Constable to Corporal and Corporal to Sergeant, there is again the Promotions Board and then based on that, the assessment and evaluation is done by the Commissioner and others who are involved with the Board and who are involved in the leadership of the Police Department.
The release says that the Commissioner is well in order with respect to promotions at these levels; and that any appeal to the decision of the Commissioner would follow to the Belize Advisory Council. However, with respect to promotions from Sergeants of Police to Inspector of Police and above, the Security Services Commission gets directly involved. The Security Services Commission acts on the recommendation of an interviewing panel. The release says that there are one hundred ten (110) Sergeants of Police and an interviewing panel will convene on Tuesday, 8th November . This interviewing panel will interview all Sergeants of Police in an effort to consider suitability for promotion to the rank of Inspector. It is expected that the interviewing panel will sit for some four days. The release says that there are fourteen vacant positions at the rank of Inspector at this time. Once the interviewing panel concludes, it will make its recommendations based on its findings to the Security Services Commission.