For the past four years, police commanders, deputy commanders, the police press officer and his staff were authorized to give information to the media in an effort to enhance the free flow of information between police and the media.

However, approximately three weeks ago, an unoffical announcement was made that open discourse between other police personnel and the media would no longer be tolerated and that, all request for information must be channeled through the Police Press Officer.

On January 15th, 2017 a meeting was held in Belize City where the Minister of Police, Elodio Aragon, confirmed that the police will now streamline the way police information is passed to the media, making the Police Press Officer, Rafael Martinez, and his office, the conduit for information to be given given to the media.

The Minister said that the policy is not new, and that it has been on the books, but that it is now being revisited and reimplemented. He said that the policy will be put into effect for a trial period of six weeks, after which it will be reviewed for its effectiveness, and if it is ineffective, it will be changed or improved.

The date set to review the policy is February 22, 2017.

The Minister said that the media is an ally, and they want to ensure that the media and the police department continue to have a cooperative relationship.

Corozal Daily