By Marion V. Ali
Gino Peck, the police corporal who earlier this year was found guilty of two counts of keeping unlicensed and prohibited firearms and ammunition, this week received a promotion to the rank of sergeant.
On Wednesday afternoon, Peck was one of 166 police men and women who received promotions during a ceremony at the Police Training Academy in Belmopan.
Peck was also one of 10 considered as “special promotions” on the merits of heroism or long and dedicated service to the Belize Police Department and the community.
The Commissioner of Police, Allen Whylie, in explaining the unusual recognition, said that while police officers who have committed infractions within the past 12 months do not ordinarily receive promotions, Peck’s case was unnecessary and should have been handled differently.
He continued that “Peck is an excellent officer and nobody has had a problem with him.”
Peck, considered an upstanding member of the Police Department, is a 22-year veteran who has served in various capacities within the department.
When his case was called a few months ago, his superiors gave the court mitigating testimonies of his stalwart and dedicated service.
Outside the courtroom and in the wider public arena Peck also garnered strong support.
Protesters outside the court house had called on the government to repeal or amend the current gun laws that, like Peck, essentially subjects anyone to prison on remand without affording magistrates discretionary rights.
Peck was arrested in January of 2013 during a GSU raid at his house where the members of the unit confiscated his police-issued 9 mm pistol with 13 live rounds of ammunition and eight live rounds of .45 ammunition which he told the court all came about as a result of his police work.
Peck told The Reporter that he remains committed to his work and has moved past the trying era which he and his family endured bitterly.
He said he holds no malice against anyone for the incident and now focuses on his work and family.
The promotion, he said, comes with added of responsibility, one that he takes seriously and will strive to carry out.
Other noteworthy promotions include those of Deseree Phillips from Senior Superintendent to Assistant Commissioner and Miguel Segura from Assistant Commissioner to Deputy Commander.