Representatives of the Belize media Corp met this morning in a two-hour session with the Commissioner of Police, Allen Whylie and other high ranking officials of the Belize Police Department. As a result, a media boycott of police events has been suspended to allow for a try-out period of a new police/media relations model. In the media’s view, progress has been made but it does not signify a breakthrough. That’s because, although Assistant Commissioner of Police, Chester Williams has been asked to supervise the Police Public Relations Office to ensure that the media receives information on a timely basis, the Commissioner of Police must still approve any interviews or briefings. This will be done on a case by case basis. Concerns were expressed about this stipulation as opposed to the media approaching commanders directly. But the model will be reviewed on April 28th. The Commissioner conceded that the members of the Police Public Relations Office need to be as aggressive as the media in following up information to share. Sometime next week, the COMPOL will meet with police commanders from around the country to apprise them of the agreement reached so that the flow of information is restored. Also reviewed at the meeting was the Police Department’s revised media policy. That comes into effect on April 1st.
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