Police patrol budget cut

The budgets for police services –
including patrols and police investigations – have been reduced in the upcoming
budget when compared to what was forecast to be spent on those items this year.

According to the spending plan in
the Cayman Islands 2010/11 budget, expenditures for police services were
reduced to $13.8 million compared to $16.5 million spent last year; a reduction
of about $2.8 million.

In addition, the budget for
investigating and detecting crime for the 2010/11 budget year was reduced
nearly $400,000 from the current year. Although the spending for each area was
cut, services scheduled to be produced by the police were not noticeably
reduced in the summary of outputs completed by the Portfolio of Internal and
External Affairs; which has responsibility for law enforcement in Cayman.

The expected number of police
patrol hours for the budget year that will begin on 1 July actually increased.

In the current year, Royal Cayman
Islands Police were estimated to have put in more than 202,000 patrol hours. In
the upcoming budget, that number is due to increase to between 218,000 and
242,000.

RCIPS Superintendent John Jones
said recently that police were looking at creating a new scheduling system that
would allow more officers to be available for service at any given time of day.
Details of that staffing plan have not been released.

Meanwhile, the police budget was
increased in several other key areas.

Funding for police security services
has increased from $1.6 million in the current budget year to $2.5 million in
the upcoming budget; a increase of about $900,000.

The security services are provided
for government members, Cayman’s law courts, for official delegates and
international conferences, as well as for money transfers at the Cayman Islands
Monetary Authority.

The total number of security hours
provided was expected to increase from 35,000 to between 42,000 and 47,000
hours in the upcoming fiscal year.

Two other patrol-related functions
of the RCIPS are also getting a budget boost next year. The budget for marine
patrols was increased by about $250,000 in 2010/11.

Aerial patrols provided by the
police are budgeted at $1.4 million in 2010/11 – that’s double what government
spent in the current year. However, the RCIPS helicopter didn’t arrive in the
Cayman Islands until March 2010 – with less than four months to go in the
current budget year.

The helicopter patrols are expected
to be available between 380-420 hours for the full year; that’s a minimum of
one to two patrol hours a day for six days a week.

RCIPS air support unit operations
manager Steve Fitzgerald has said helicopter responses will be used at
different times depending on reports and intelligence police receive on specific
incidents.

Mr. Fitzgerald recently denied
rumours swirling around the fate of the police service helicopter, stating the
aircraft is here to stay

1 COMMENT

  1. Just as the police disrupted an attack on a woman, their budget is cut and specifically the "patrol" budget… not a good decision

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