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Cops ‘Crash’ in Promotion Exams Almost 80% Fail

Cops ‘Crash’ in Promotion Exams Almost 80% Fail
June 14
12:33 2019

Almost 900 officers of the Belize Police Department recently sat a promotion-based examination to determine potential candidates for vacant posts within the department. The examination is based on knowledge of investigative and administrative techniques, but alarmingly, almost 80 percent of officers who sat the exam failed.
The questions in the exam, we are informed, tested the officers’ knowledge of community policing programs, missing persons policies, investigative procedures, domestic violence scenarios, identifying the elements of a crime, and identifying types of offenses.

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The Reporter has seen a copy of the abysmal results, which shows 194 passes to 684 failing grades. That’s only a 22 percent passing rate among officers the public would imagine have a wider knowledge of their field of work. The 878 officers who sat the 2019 examination were from ranks ranging from constable, corporal and sergeant.
Commissioner of Police Chester Williams declined to comment on the results. Chief Executive Officer in the Ministry of National Security, Ret. Col. George Lovell told the Reporter on Thursday that he had not yet seen the results and had not discussed it with the Commissioner as of Thursday morning. Lovell added, though, that such an exercise had not been conducted since under the administration of former Commissioner, David Henderson, who last held that title in 2013.

Lovell also explained that the examination exercise becomes necessary periodically when the department sees a need to fill numerous vacancies. The examinations help to ensure that the officers promoted to these posts meet the standards of the department and are knowledgeable enough to effectively perform their respective duties.

The posts will most likely be filled in the weeks and months ahead but the department would, no doubt, have liked to see a better showing from its ranks. Critics have long pointed to seeming below-standard criteria for officers recruited to join the force including issues such as basic English and writing skills, poor public relation and communications skills, and conflict resolution without use of excessive force.

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