Hundreds of people gathered at the Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman Wednesday night for the annual Police Officer’s Ball and to celebrate the 100 year anniversary of the Royal Cayman Islands Police Service.
Police Commissioner Stuart Kernohan noted that the service has come a long way.
‘Let me quote to you from a report from 1802,’ Mr. Kernohan told the audience. ”The Cayman Islands have no particular police. An ill-disposed individual may give some trouble and one of this description was shipped off island to America by the united voice and compulsion of the inhabitants.’
‘So, Franz (Manderson – Chief Immigration Officer) it was happening before you. Keep up the good work.’
Mr. Kernohan said in the 105 years after that report the Cayman Islands had still not formed a police force, but that things have moved along more quickly since 1907.
Police Association President J. Kim Evans, who was promoted to the rank of Detective Inspector during the ball, said officers had many reasons to celebrate their history.
‘The new date will allow us to commemorate 100 years,’ Mr. Evans said. ‘In 100 years of policing in the Cayman Islands, not one officer has ever died in the line of duty. That impressive fact — gives the entire community reason to celebrate.’
Commissioner Kernohan doled out 14 commissioner’s awards during the ball to police officers and other members of the community who he said had made significant contributions to the work of RCIPS and to the safety of the Cayman Islands.
The awardees included head of RCIPS criminal investigations Superintendent Marlon Bodden; Police Constable Michael Peart, described as a ‘human dynamo’ by the commissioner; and Detective Sergeant Lauriston Burton.
‘I wish I had another 30 or 40 of the ability of this officer,’ Mr. Kernohan said of Mr. Burton.
Others who received commissioner’s awards were: Police Constable Rob Stewart, Inspector David Plunkett, Chief Inspector Angelique Howell, and Mr. Evans. Civilian employees Deborah Denis and Martha Welcome also received awards.
Chief Secretary George McCarthy, Attorney General Samuel Bulgin, Solicitor General Cheryl Richards, Customs Collector Carlon Powery, and Mr. Manderson were given awards by Mr. Kernohan as well.