Scramble for RCIPS top job

A number of applications have been received for the Royal Cayman Islands Police commissioner’s job; most of them from outside Cayman. .

The application period for the $109,000 to $130,000 per year post is set to close next week.

The Caymanian Compass has learned no fewer than nine job applications have come in, most of them from law enforcement professionals in the United Kingdom.

Acting Police Commissioner James Smith, as of Tuesday night, was not one of those who had applied. Mr. Smith told a group of West Bay residents at a public meeting that he was ‘playing’ with the application for the top cop’s post, but hadn’t submitted it.

Mr. Smith has previously told the Compass that he would be interested in staying beyond the terms of his six-month secondment, but said the final decision would obviously be made by the Governor.

‘The decision is not mine, but the effort can be mine to stay here,’ he said in January. ‘I have felt extremely energised since I got here around doing the job and that’s a nice way to feel.’

One local application that has been received is that of former RCIPS Drugs Task Force chief Derek Haines. Mr. Haines said he submitted an application for the post earlier this week, but declined to comment further.

‘I should just let the selection process take its course,’ Mr. Haines said.

The UK native first came to Cayman in 1995 from the Turks and Caicos Islands and served in the RCIPS Drugs Task Force for more than a decade. Mr. Haines holds permanent residence in Cayman, but he does not have Caymanian Status.

Other potential local candidates for the full-time police commissioner’s job have not expressed any interest in the position. Deputy Police Commissioner Anthony Ennis and former Police Commissioner Buell Braggs are among those.

The police service has lost three high profile commanders to suspensions or firings within the past year. All three of those men are still involved in a criminal misconduct investigation and cannot apply for the job.

Since March 2008, Cayman has been through four police commissioners, one of them, Royce Hipgrave, stayed on island for just 48 hours and eventually refused to accept the post. The islands’ last full-time commissioner, Stuart Kernohan, was fired after he refused Governor’s orders to return from the UK while he was on temporary leave.