Today’s Editorial for September 5: Commissioner won’t be welcomed back

For possible sale: one used Eurocopter 1999 model helicopter. Can be seen in the United States. Asking price is $2.8 million obo. Call the Cayman Islands Government and make an offer.

The purchase of a helicopter for the Royal Cayman Islands Police Service has been a contentious issue with many Caymanians since the idea was first put forth by Commissioner of Police Stuart Kernohan.

On Thursday the issue had Government drawing the proverbial line in the sand.

And the ministers speaking didn’t mince words.

If Governor Stuart Jack had any doubts in his mind how Caymanian leaders feel about Kernohan, he shouldn’t have any questions now.

Leader of Government Business Kurt Tibbetts along with Ministers Arden McLeanand Charles Clifford made it perfectly clear Thursday morning that Kernohan is not welcomed back on the shores of the Cayman Islands in his capacity as head police officer.

Kernohan is on official leave from his post and he’s spending that time away in his home country of Scotland.

The upshot is that we, the Caymanian people, are still paying his salary while he is part of an RCIPS investigation.

After the tongue lashing Kernohan received Thursday morning during Cabinet briefing, we seriously doubt he will come back to the Cayman Islands in any capacity with the Royal Cayman Islands Police Service. Of course that decision is up to the governor, but we assume he’s listening to the elected leaders of this country.

We also doubt that acting Commissioner David George really wants to stick around the Cayman Islands too much longer as head of the organisation.

He’s got his own job and his family waiting for him back in the UK.

We don’t blame him if he’s ready to go back home.

The question now is; who is going to lead the RCIPS?

In addition to Kernohan, Chief Superintendent John Jones is on official leave, as is Deputy Commissioner Rudolph Dixon, who has been charged with two counts of misconduct in a public office and two counts of doing an act tending and intended to pervert the course of public justice.

He will attend a Preliminary Inquiry later this month and could go to Grand Court early in October.

As the investigation continues, the latest information we have is that all three men are still receiving full pay – not half as is normal during investigations.

So far, no one has explained to the Caymanian Compass – despite our many attempts to get an answer – why the men are still receiving full pay.

The tirade against Kernohan on Thursday morning had nothing to do with the ongoing investigation.

It had everything to do with the purchase of a $1.8 million helicopter – and an additional $1 million to outfit it – he wanted too help protect our shores.

The Ministers on Thursday said Kernohan basically sold the Cayman Islands a bag of goods because the helicopter, which does legally belong to this country, won’t do what Kernohan said it would – basically be able to cover all three islands at night.

Now Government will have to decide whether it wants to put more money into the chopper or whether it wants to sell it and get another.

Bottom line: The Cayman Islands is out $2.8 million on a helicopter it can’t use for the purposes it was intended and that isn’t even on our shores, and a police commissioner who has been uninvited by elected Cayman leaders to head the police force is sitting in Scotland collecting full pay.

Does this add up? We don’t think so.

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