Cheshire Police Assistant Chief Constable David Baines has been named as the Cayman Islands’ new Commissioner of Police this afternoon.
Mr. Baines beat out five other short-listed candidates, including acting commissioner James Smith, who he will take over from on 1 June.
A police veteran of 31 years, Mr. Baines commanded 2,200 officers in Cheshire responsible for delivering the full range of policing services, including major crime investigation, organised crime investigation, an economic crime unit, public order, and firearms/counter-terrorism capabilities.
According to a Government Information Services press release, his work has involved close cooperation with criminal justice partners, in particular the Crown Prosecution Service, the Courts and Probation in order to deliver victim-focused services to the community.
Mr. Baines made headlines across the UK last year when he sent Christmas cards to crime suspects, telling them that police were ‘thinking of you’.
The 49-year-old is married with three children, the youngest of which is at university. According to the Cheshire Police’s website, his hobbies include military history, reading, running, scuba diving, travel and motorcycling.
Among the other candidates Mr. Baines beat out for the top post were Detective Superintendent Ellie Bird of the British Transport Police; Former UK Metropolitan Police Chief Superintendent Richard Cullen; Michael Berkow, the police chief of the Savannah-Chatham Metropolitan Police in Georgia, USA; North Wales Chief Constable Richard Brunstrom, the so called ‘Mad Mullah of the Traffic Taliban’ (as one British tabloid dubbed him); and another unidentified Canadian applicant.
Announcing the appointment, Governor Stuart Jack said the selection process for the new Police Commissioner had been very thorough and had involved a lot of background research.
‘I am looking forward to working with David Baines,’ Mr. Jack said.
‘I am confident that he has the skills and experience to see through the modernisation of the police service and meet the needs of this community.’
The Governor also paid tribute to Mr. Smith.
‘Commissioner Smith has done an excellent job under very difficult circumstances,’ Mr. Jack said. ‘His professionalism and dedication to the task set for him, particularly in relation to Operations Tempura and Cealt, has been a tremendous benefit to the Royal Cayman Islands Police Service and the community.’
For more on this story, be sure to check Thursday’s Caymanian Compass and keep checking back to www.caycompass.com