Editorial for August 4: Police policies get attention

Some much needed attention is being
paid to lack of standard and public policies at the Royal Cayman Islands Police
Service.

Under the leadership of
Commissioner David Baines, RCIPS Chief Inspector Angelique Howell is examining
the service’s policies with an eye toward determining which can be made public
and which will be kept in-house.

We’ve been told some of the
policies will be made public. That’s welcome news. We also understand that some
policies will have to be kept out of the public domain because of those that
could jeopardise police operations.

The welcome news is that the
policies under which RCIPS operations will be given to all officers.

That’s refreshing.

Too often policies have been put in
place, but not everyone on the police force is aware of them and there hasn’t
been a central location for officers to find the policies they need to do their
jobs, which means that many just have to make it up as they go along.

Standard and standing operational
policies that everyone is educated on and adheres to will go a long way to help
improve public perception of the RCIPS.

It is frustrating for members of
the public to get varying answers about policies from uninformed members of the
police service.

It makes the police service look
bad in the public’s eye when everyone isn’t singing from the same hymn book.

Part of the plans also include
creating a casualty bureau – a specially trained group of officers who would
deal with family members of victims of major incidents.

We learned during Hurricane Ivan in
2004 that there needed to be a place where people from overseas could go when
looking for their loved ones after that massive storm.

Now we find ourselves again in the
middle of a hurricane season and six years on no such system has been put in
place. We hope that group of specially trained men and women don’t ever have to
put their training to work, but if they are needed, it will be a great help to
be able to rely on the RCIPS than the rumour and guessing that was so prevalent
after Ivan.  

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