I read with interest the second letter from past Inspector Shaun Ebanks regarding the concerns for the RCIP and its current operations and management. Mr. Ebanks said he felt compelled to write this after speaking to many current junior and senior officers. I, in turn, felt driven to respond after reading his submissions.
I commend him, first of all, for being a good officer during his tenure in the RCIP, and secondly for having the courage to continue to voice his concerns for a job and organization that he obviously still cares much about. The concerns expressed should give us all cause for concern and Governor Stuart Jack in particular should heed these words.
We have to immediately install permanent and able leadership in the form of a new Commissioner to the RCIP. This must be a person who has the right skill sets, and is willing to listen and work with the good officers that we still have on board. As Shaun said, he should have an ‘open door policy’. Moral is down, and this is one way it can be lifted immediately. We can ill afford to lose any more of our good officers! It’s no good locking the barn door after the horse has bolted.
The current PPM Administration, of which I am a part, voted the largest budget ever to the RCIP a couple years ago and we expect to get value for money for such support from the elected government. Our borders must be made secure with the purchase of new boats – happily three of these have now arrived – and other invaluable resources such as a marine base and aerial support.
The physical equipment is one thing however, but our most precious resource lies in the form of human capital. Officers must therefore be able, properly trained, motivated and informed to do the job. Our policing must return to being proactive, rather than reactive. Public confidence must be restored immediately to the RCIP, as proper policing without good community support is impossible.
Serious consideration should also be given to re-hiring some of the invaluable expertise that has left the ranks of the RCIP and we also need to create a pool of new talent through proper recruitment policies – like going into our schools and Cadet Corp and extract those talented and interested ones.. We also have to look carefully at the hiring of foreign officers – these persons must be fully screened and of the highest integrity and character.
The RCIP is all that we have to protect our country and our people on a daily basis and hence it needs to be an efficient, corrupt free, well-oiled machine. We need to attract some of our brightest talent in the country not just be a last resort job. Police need to be smart people! It should be promoted as the US Army did ‘join and be all you can be’ – it should be a career filled with opportunities to develop oneself and make a positive difference.
The RCIP has my full support and that of the PPM government, but the governor and others in charge must ensure that we in turn have the best policing affordable to us. The Cayman Islands deserves no less!!
Osbourne Bodden, MLA