Today’s Editorial December 06: Give police a chance

Everyone has now had a chance to meet and talk with new Police Commissioner Stuart Kernohan.

He and his entourage have been to each district in the Cayman Islands to hold community meetings and listen to concerns about issues of crime unique to each of those areas.

Many people turned out to tell the commissioner and other officers about problems with drugs and speeding in their districts.

The plight of today’s youth was also addressed.

One resident of East End voiced his concern that the meeting was a rehash of what he’s been hearing at police meetings for the past nine years.

And he’s right.

But this time Commissioner Kernohan promises things will be different.

He specifically promised East End residents he would go back to that district in three months and let them judge whether he has kept his word in making improvements there.

It is understandable that many of us who have lived in the Cayman Islands for years and have attended police meetings religiously look at the recent meetings with a jaundiced eye. We have heard this litany before only to be frustrated when no apparent action was made on the promises from the lips of past police administrations.

But Mr. Kernohan has to be given a chance to prove himself and his partly new staff of Royal Cayman Islands Police.

The department has already made good inroads with the crackdown on illegal drivers on West Bay Road and on outstanding warrants with Operation Octopus.

More is to be done.

Mr. Kernohan has promised that all officers will be subject to performance management, which means each of them will have an understanding of what is expected of them.. There is to be an accountability system and annual appraisals.

Mr. Kernohan said that strategic issues facing the police department are crime containment, neighbourhood policing, border security, modernisation of police service, calls and responses and leadership and direction.

We are willing to take the commissioner at his word.

We hope that in three months time the editorial in this space will be kudos to the new commissioner and the police department for making good their promises to the residents of each district and the country.

We would hate to have to write about more empty promises made by another police administration.

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