First police certificate class at UCCI

About 30 recently graduated police
cadets started a first-of-its-kind, 24-week training course at the University College
of the Cayman Islands on Tuesday.

The course will teach the probationary
Royal Cayman Islands Police officers a number of skills including English presentation,
report writing, Cayman cultural education, basic math, computer literacy, customer
service and interpersonal skills.

The training course was announced
at the most recent RCIPS cadet graduation in December, and both school and
police officials hope the certificate class will be a forerunner to what will
eventually become a law enforcement degree programme at UCCI.

“You have embarked on a noble
exercise,” University President Roy Bodden told the class and a few of their
teachers who were assembled at the Civil Service College building Tuesday afternoon.
“We are…applying a long-term solution which will help us to better police our
society.”

The training classes are the
brainchild of Police Commissioner David Baines, who has previously noted that
basic education levels amongst some RCIPS officers are not where he would like
them. Mr. Baines also said the classes would assist police who come from
different jurisdictions adapt to Cayman.

“We probably operate in one of the
most complex societies in the world,” Mr. Baines said of Cayman, where about
half the population of 60,000 people comes from 120 different countries.

“We’re trying to raise our game and
our standard,” Mr. Baines said. “I’m trying to take this from being a job…to
being a profession.”

Mr. Bodden said he hoped most of
the new police officers would remain in the service, and would attend classes
in uniform to help discourage those who had “less than honourable” intentions
on campus.

“But whatever you do…your education
here will remain with you,” Mr. Bodden said.

Mr. Baines said it was his goal to
require police cadets – once they graduate from the standard 12-week officer
training course – to take the 24-week UCCI certificate programme as part of
their probationary period. Typically, RCIPS officers must serve a two-year
probation period before being accepted into the service as full-fledged officers.

“The bottom line for us is, this is
about professionalising what our staff do when they meet the public,” he said.

LOCALpoliceSTORY

The members of the first police officer certificate training course in the Cayman Islands with police officials and UCCI teachers and administrators on the school campus Tuesday.
Brent Fuller
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