A number of Royal Cayman Islands Police Service officers have been required to take polygraph tests recently, according to several police sources contacted this week by the Caymanian Compass.
The reason the polygraphs – commonly called lie detector tests – were being administered was not given by Police Commissioner David Baines’ office.
”It is not RCIPS policy to comment on our vetting procedures,” read a statement from the commissioner’s spokesperson that was issued in response to questions from the Compass.
Both current and former police officers who spoke with the Compass on background confirmed that the tests had been administered to dozens of officers within the department and that a number of those tests had been failed. Police department brass declined to respond to questions regarding the specific numbers of those who had taken the polygraphs.
Some officers indicated that RCIPS staffers had been told their positions with the department could be in jeopardy if they refused to take the tests.
Commissioner Baines previously indicated that RCIPS officers within the new police anti-corruption unit would be subjected to polygraphs as a condition of their employment in the police service.
In November, the commissioner told the Compass that skilled veteran investigators handling complaints against RCIPS officers would be given polygraph tests by US law enforcement agencies prior to being hired.
Some of the complaints against RCIPS Mr. Baines referenced were made previously under the corruption investigation dubbed ‘Operation Cealt’ by former Acting Police Commissioner James Smith.
Operation Cealt was a spin-off of the ill-fated Operation Tempura misconduct and corruption probe within the police service.
“Because there is the shadow of corruption on us, we’ve got to go the extra mile to make sure that where we have those (investigators)…they are, to the best of our knowledge and vetting capability, clean,” Mr. Baines said during the November interview.
“I’m aware there are concerns that…corruption has taken place or has been tolerated previously,” the commissioner continued. “That’s no part of any police force that I’m going to have a part of.”
It was unclear whether the polygraph process had since been expanded beyond the anti-corruption unit, and again, the commissioner’s office did not provide any clarity on that issue.
When contacted about the situation, the RCIPS officers association also declined to comment.