A US cop who was wrapped up in a sex harassment scandal, a UK officer featured in a BBC documentary, a transport police officer believed to be Cayman’s first female applicant for police commissioner, and a Wales police commander known as ‘the Mad Mullah of the Traffic Taliban’ are all seeking to become Cayman’s next top cop.
The Caymanian Compass has identified six of the seven applicants believed to be on Governor Stuart Jack’s ‘short list’ for the Royal Cayman Islands Police commissioner’s post which also includes current Acting Police Commissioner James Smith, an assistant chief constable with Cheshire Police and a top cop applicant from Canada. The Canadian applicant had not been identified at press time.
Applicant #1: RCIPS Acting Commissioner James Smith
Mr. Smith has been serving as Cayman’s top cop since 1 December when he took over for another acting commissioner. The majority of his law enforcement career was spent in Scotland, but he more recently served with the Metropolitan Police force in London and held a key position in the agency’s response following the 2005 subway bombings. After unsuccessfully applying for the RCIPS job in 2005, he took up a position with the Civil Nuclear Constabulary, the agency that secures the UK’s nuclear sites. His contract with the police service expires on 1 June.
Applicant #2: Detective Superintendent Ellie Bird of the British Transport Police
Superintendent Bird is a 26 year veteran of law enforcement. She has served as superintendent of operations on the London Underground and has been responsible for policing response to major incidents and events like the Tour de France. She is also vice president of the British Association for Women in Policing. She is a strong advocate for the protection of women and domestic violence victims.
Applicant #3: Former UK Metropolitan Police Chief Superintendent Richard Cullen
Mr. Cullen has run the UK Met’s Hendon training college, and spent several years on London’s top police force. He was interviewed as part of a BBC documentary that focused on declining relations between the Met and the London community. The veteran police commander also faced some criticism over his handling of a 1994 demonstration in Hyde Park against the UK’s Criminal Justice Bill. Mr. Cullen blamed anarchist groups for starting a riot at what had been a peaceful demonstration involving some 35,000 people.
Applicant #4: Savannah-Chatham Metropolitan Police Chief Michael Berkow
Mr. Berkow works as police chief at Savannah-Chatham Metro, which is in Georgia, USA, where he was appointed in November 2006. He was previously a deputy chief of the Los Angeles Police Department where he ran the internal affairs unit (complaints and discipline) under LA Police Chief William Bratton. Mr. Berkow was named at one time as a defendant in at least 10 lawsuits, some of which claimed Mr. Berkow was favouring or promoting women he had sexual relationships with.
According to reports in the Los Angeles press, an LAPD Sergeant who complained about Mr. Berkow’s alleged conduct was demoted and retaliated against within the department. Mr. Berkow later admitted in a deposition that he had an affair with a woman who worked for him in LAPD internal affairs.
Applicant #5: North Wales Chief Constable Richard Brunstrom
Chief Constable Brunstrom is a well-known character in England and Wales where he has started a ‘police commissioner’s blog,’ has claimed that drugs laws are out of date and that police were ‘engaged in a battle they cannot win,’ and is known by local residents as a stickler for enforcing traffic laws which have earned him the nickname ‘the Mad Mullah of the Traffic Taliban’ in one British tabloid. He has previously worked for Sussex Police and Greater Manchester Police. He has announced that he will retire from the North Wales police force later this year.
Applicant #6: Cheshire Police Assistant Chief Constable David Baines
Assistant Chief Constable Baines joined the Lancashire Constabulary in 1976 and worked in several divisions there until 2000, when he transferred to Greater Manchester Police. In Manchester, Mr. Baines has worked in the inner city division of Salford, a high crime area, and as head of corporate performance, among other areas. In 2005 he joined the Cheshire Constabulary as the head of operations.