MAJOR changes will soon be taking place for the Gang Suppression Unit (GSU) of the Belize Police Department as the GSU has a reputation of being brutal in its operations.
Breaking Belize News (BBN) reported that both Minister of Home Affairs Kareem Musa and the Commissioner of Police Chester Williams stated that the rebranding of the unit was necessary and will focus on police officers having more respect for citizens.
The minister and the commissioner held a joint press conference to speak about these policing issues.
Musa said, “We cannot continue with business as is the way the gang suppression unit has been operating in our country. They need to be answerable to somebody. In the past, it was said that they were answerable to no-one and that simply cannot be.”
Williams added that gangs were part of a society and cannot be ignored.
Williams said, “Now we do need such a unit, but we must look at how we can refocus and redirect what the GSU does and after we have done the rebranding, we will insert a commander who will be able to fashion that new direction that we want the GSU to go.”
Some of the officers will also need to be removed from the unit as part of the transformation of the GSU’s culture change.
“The truth is GSU in the past, has behaved to some extent like animals, treating people how they should not be treated,” Williams said.
The GSU will focus on gaining actionable intelligence so that it can perform more efficiently and effectively without the brutal use of force in its efforts to curb gang activity Williams stated.