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San Pedro Police Run Up 6 Figure Hotel Bill, Who Will Pay? #540055
01/14/20 06:00 AM
01/14/20 06:00 AM
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 64,810
oregon, spr
Marty Offline OP

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Marty  Offline OP

The Belize Police Department owes a San Pedro hotel over a hundred thousand dollars. The hefty hotel tab is reportedly for accommodations for officers who have been working on the island. According to the Commissioner of Police, the Belize Police Department will not pay the six figure bill in its entirety. He says that it has to be a shared responsibility. At today’s briefing, ComPol Chester Williams didn’t say exactly who else should pick up the tab but he did say that he will be meeting with industry partners.  Here’s how Williams explains it.

Chester Williams, Commissioner of Police

“Yes, the police officers have been staying at a hotel in San Pedro due to the unavailability of accommodations. I had been asking questions several times last year as to who was footing the bill because I had not seen any request for payment. Certain things were said to me as it relates to who is paying the bill and suddenly I saw something came in with an arrear, as you said, a six figure arrears. It is something that we will have to discuss with the proprietor of the establishment to see what can be worked out and who is going to pay the bill. I can say for sure that the police department is not going to pay the bill in its entirety. It has to be a shared responsibility.”

Reporter

“With the community; with whom?”

Chester Williams

“We will decide that when the time comes. In the time being, I have directed that the officers vacate that hotel immediately and we are trying to see how we can find alternative accommodation for them. At the end of the day we do understand the nature of San Pedro and the fragileness of tourism industry. So, I cannot say that I am going to withdraw the officers from there but rather to say that we will seek alternative accommodations. As much as the people need the island to be safe to be able to further the tourism business then we have to work together, as you said shared responsibility, in order to ensure that we have adequate number of officers on the island to make it safe. I am sure that they would agree that for the past six months since the officers went out and the new commander was installed, they have seen a drastic reduction in crime on the island and tourism industry is coming back on stream. I don’t want it to regress; we want to ensure that whatever we do will enhance the efforts that the police have already made on the island. I will meet with the proprietor of the establishment, meet with BTB and also meet with the San Pedro chapter of the BTIA and I believe that between the four of us we should be able to come up with some amicable solution to resolve the issue.”

Channel 5


Re: San Pedro Police Run Up 6 Figure Hotel Bill, Who Will Pay? [Re: Marty] #540070
01/15/20 05:28 AM
01/15/20 05:28 AM
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 64,810
oregon, spr
Marty Offline OP

.
Marty  Offline OP

Chester’s Six Figure Hotel Bill

Since June of last year when a tourist was murdered on San Pedro, police have dramatically increased their presence on the island.

But the additional cops had no place to stay and they had to be put up at Pedro's Inn for more than 6 months.

But, police have now gotten the bill for that and we are told it's one hundred thousand dollars.

We asked the commissioner about it yesterday - and he seemed reluctant to discuss:

Jules Vasquez
"We have heard that your officers have been staying at a hotel in San Pedro doing their lawful business, their lawful duties, but that the police department has a six figure arrears at said accommodations, at the accommodations. Is this something that you're aware of?"

Chester Williams, Commissioner of Police
"(Sighs) Let me see how to answer this one. Yes, police officers have been staying at a hotel in San Pedro. Due to the unavailability of accommodations. I had been asking questions several times last year as to who is footing the bill because, ahm, I have not seen any request for payment. Certain things were said to me as it relates to who is paying the bill. And, sudden one, I saw something came in with an arrears as you said, a six figure arrears. It is something that we will have to discuss with the proprietor of the establishment to see what can be worked out, and who is going to pay the bill. I can say for sure that the police department is not going to pay the bill in its entirety, it has to be a shared responsibility."

Jules Vasquez
"With the community? With who?"

Chester Williams, Commissioner of Police
"We'll decide that when the time comes. In the time being I have directed that the officers vacate that hotel immediately, and we're trying to see how we can find alternative accommodations for them."

"At the end of the day we do understand the nature of San Pedro and the fragility of the tourism industry, and so I cannot say that I am going to withdraw the officers from there, but, rather to say that we'll seek alternative accommodations. And, as much as the people of San Pedro need to be safe to be able to further their tourism business, then we have to work together like you said shared responsibility in order to ensure that we have adequate number of officers on island to make it safe."

"So we will see going froward, I will have to meet with the proprietor of the establishment; I will meet with the BTB; and I am going to meet with the San Pedro chapter of BTIA. And I believe that between the four of us we should be able to come up with some amicable solution to resolve the issue."

We have confirmed that police have since moved out of the building while the local chapter of the BTIA has said it is broke and cannot help to pay.

Channel 7


Re: San Pedro Police Run Up 6 Figure Hotel Bill, Who Will Pay? [Re: Marty] #540118
01/18/20 05:11 AM
01/18/20 05:11 AM
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 64,810
oregon, spr
Marty Offline OP

.
Marty  Offline OP

COMPOL Says Cops Will Leave Pedro’s Inn, Eventually

On Tuesday night, we told you that the police had racked up a 6 figure bill at Pedro's Inn in San Pedro. That's because the cops had added deployments of officers staying at the hotel since the middle of last year, when crime spiked to a dangerous high on the island. Since the, the added police presence has brought down the crime - but at a cost.

And, the question tonight is, who will pay the hundred thousand dollar tab? Word to us is that despite the Commissioner's claims to the contrary, the police officers are still saying at Pedro's Inn and the bill continues to climb. Today when the press asked the commissioner about it, he says he expects to order to be complied with and the cops will be moving:

Chester Williams, Commissioner Of Police
"I have no need to lie, I am not going to go into a back and forth with Mr Lawrence, he is a businessman, the police stayed at his place a bill has been racked up and it needs to be paid, bottom line. I'm not saying that he's not going to be paid. It has to be paid in terms of whether the officers vacate I said on Monday I have given instructions for our officers to vacate immediately and that instruction was given to Mr Noble. So if it is that Mr Noble has not complied with my instructions then that's another story that he and I will have that discussion over. I do not expect that our officers are still staying at that hotel or any hotel per se. I have said to Mr Noble that we need to find an alternative accommodation that is not going to have those substantial costs upon the people of Belize."

As we told you on Tuesday, the commissioner believes the responsibility for the 6 figure tab falls somewhere between the Police Department, the BTB and the San Pedro chapter of the BTIA.

On Tuesday we reported that the local chapter of the BTIA was broke and could not pay its part. But, we have since been told that's not right. Here is the official position:

Chairwoman for the San Pedro Belize Tourism Industry Association Tamara Sniffin stated, quote, "We've have always maintained that we would do what we can (within our means) to assist our local police force, but until we can meet with ComPol we can not comment on his suggestion that the organization assist with the outstanding hotel bill." Sniffin reported that the local BTIA chapter did provide support to the police for several days in July last year with meals, transportation, and some accommodations when the additional officers first arrived on the island, but they never agreed to provide financial support.

Channel 7


Re: San Pedro Police Run Up 6 Figure Hotel Bill, Who Will Pay? [Re: Marty] #540131
01/18/20 08:12 AM
01/18/20 08:12 AM
Joined: Oct 2001
Posts: 6,135
San Pedro AC Belize
Diane Campbell Offline
.
Diane Campbell  Offline
I propose that 10% from each trades license on the island be put towards this bill. AND $$$$ from the BTB - the hotel tax is paid for by our guests - it seems reasonable that a portion - again perhaps 10% be put back into policing the community that generates the tax? $100,000 is a lot of money but with the amount being collected in the two venues noted above, it's an easy bill to pay.

Re: San Pedro Police Run Up 6 Figure Hotel Bill, Who Will Pay? [Re: Marty] #540178
6 hours ago
6 hours ago
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 64,810
oregon, spr
Marty Offline OP

.
Marty  Offline OP

Pedro’s Inn Owner Says Cops Owe 100k Plus!

Last week, we reported twice on the situation with Pedro's Inn on San Pedro. That's the hotel where police reinforcements have been staying since June of last year after a tourist was murdered on the island. But, Commissioner Chester Williams balked at paying the 6 figure hotel bill when he saw it earlier this month. He stated categorically that he won't pay one hundred thousand dollars - and suggested that the BTB and the BTIA will have to help cover the costs.

And while he has said this to the press, he still has not spoken to the owner of Pedro's Inn, Peter Lawrence. In June of last year, Lawrence agreed to open up 11 rooms for 22 police officers - and, tonight, 6 of them are still there.

In that time, he hasn't been paid, but he says he has been sending his bills to the Island's police formation monthly. Now, Lawrence isn't pushing the panic button and is certainly not pushing the police out of the rooms. He has an excellent working relationship with island cops - but says headquarters in Belmopan has disappointed him. He told us more this afternoon when he came to Belize City.

Peter Lawrence, Owner, Pedro's Inn
"Remember I did not take this to the public or the media, because we were always told well next week and Christopher Noble was asking. I don't know who he asked, but I could have a very good guess, because there aren't too many people above him and he isn't going to ask somebody below him. Obviously, the bills were known and so critical, not really."

Reporter
"Is that something the Commissioner could have realistically said, based on your knowledge of the facts that he was surprised to learn that he had 6 figure arrears with Pedro's Inn?"

Peter Lawrence, Owner, Pedro's Inn
"What I could say I'm surprised that both the BTIA, BTB, Town Board and the police all knew that over 22 officers were on the island and they knew they were staying at Pedro's."

Reporter
"Was it at any point your understanding that it was a shared responsibility as the commissioner has alluded to between the police, BTB and BTIA?"

Peter Lawrence, Owner, Pedro's Inn
"I knew that I was told, because it comes down to hearsay what people say and say do I know for a fact that the BTIA said they didn't say to me, they said yes they were going to help the police. That was in the paper. What does help the police means to keep the police on the island? I don't know what it means. All I know is that the police, but nobody - if ever knows the police on the island, certainly somebody has to figure out we're going to get paid."

Reporter
"When we spoke to the commissioner last week twice, he said that he gave the directive and he expects it to be followed, that the officers will be moving from your spot Pedro's Inn. What is the current situation? What is your understanding?"

Peter Lawrence, Owner, Pedro's Inn
"Well the commissioner did not talk to me, has not talk to me about this situation at all, so Christopher Noble said look I got to move the people, the place that I got to move them to is inhabitable in DFC. He said you got to do me a favor, we'll work out something over the long run, but I need 3 rooms for 6 officers from Thursday. So I said sure. I mean what do you do when somebody comes and say. This is nothing to do with the commissioner now, it's a favor from me to Chris Noble. Maybe somebody will help in the town, maybe they won't."

Reporter
"And so at this point are you a little bit frustrated?"

Peter Lawrence, Owner, Pedro's Inn
"Not frustrated, disappointed. Yes of course everybody wants to get paid, but the island has prospered and Belize in general has prospered at very insignificant amount of money."

Reporter
"Do you expect you will get paid?"

Peter Lawrence, Owner, Pedro's Inn
"Oh yeah."

Reporter
"How much is the bill?"

Peter Lawrence, Owner, Pedro's Inn
"Am, don't know, honestly I don't know, I'm going to guess, up to last Thursday about $117,000."

Lawrence estimates the total bill is $132,000 dollars minus $15,000 for trade and property taxes written off by the Town Council as its contribution.

And Lawrence says he's not being exacting with the police - he says he's had a long history of generosity with the Department and the Ministry:

Peter Lawrence, Owner, Pedro's Inn
"Last year we gave $19,000 worth of rooms, It's approximate because we don't keep records, but all the people who stayed, the hotel on the beach is $150 a night and sometimes they'll get the deluxe rooms which is $300 a night."

Reporter
"It's not always for security business, maybe personal business?"

Peter Lawrence, Owner, Pedro's Inn
"Maybe, I don't ask."

Tonight, 6 officers remain in 3 rooms at Pedro's Inn tonight.

Channel 7



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