Today’s Editorial October 22: Keep community officers put

Fears expressed in the Legislative Assembly that our police force is short staffed and neighbourhoods are losing their community posts seem to be well founded.

At least that’s how it appears.

We understand and appreciate that community police offers do get promoted and move up the ranks.

But we would like to have enough people on our police force so that neighbourhood officers aren’t forced to leave their posts to help with ongoing investigations.

There is a sense of calm and reassurance in communities where there is a known police presence.

Community officers know the people in those neighbourhoods, they know what activity to anticipate and what raises red flags.

It is easier to have a quick chat with an officer you know when something needs to be addressed than calling the Royal Cayman Islands Police Service and speaking with someone you don’t know.

While we appreciate the expatriates in our police force here who help us keep law and order, we would like to see more Caymanian faces in our police department.

To that end the RCIPS plans to host a cadet training class at the beginning of next year.

We hope that many Caymanians join the force and get the training.

We would also like to see that training expanded before any new officers – either Caymanians or ex-pats – are put on the streets.

While the police service has never told us the salary range for those working at RCIPS, we do understand that new recruits don’t make an awful lot of money.

That’s probably one reason why Caymanians aren’t attracted to RCIPS as a place to begin a career, especially as the cost of living in the Cayman Islands goes higher and higher.

Maybe it’s time for our lawmakers to revisit the salary schedule for incoming police recruits and adjust it to make it more attractive to Caymanians.

We applaud the men and women of the RCIPS for the work they do day in and day out.

We would just like to see some of our own young men and women taking up the mantle to help enforce the laws of our country.

That’s another way community officers can help.

Youngsters who watch these officers work and interact with those in the community can see them as role models and aspire to join the police department when they get older.

Those of us who have had discussions with our community officers have, for the most part, enjoyed getting to know them.

Unfortunately, it seems that as soon as everyone in the community becomes comfortable with the officers, they are removed.