For the first time in several years, a number of Royal Cayman Islands Police officers have received public commendations for outstanding service to the community.
Ronald Francis, runner-up, Police Officer of the Year
Detective Constable Ronald Francis was already a decorated police officer before he came to the Cayman Islands in 2006.
He won 21 separate commendations with the Jamaica Constabulary Force where he served first as an officer and later as a sergeant directing a team of seven officers.
Cayman hasn’t been a retirement job for Detective Francis.
“In one incident, he responded to a man being injured in a local bar,” said Police Commissioner David Baines. “He apprehended [the suspect], and during the investigation, despite repeated abuse and threats by the individuals involved, and by his thoroughness and objectivity, his investigation led to the recovery of an AK-47 assault rifle, a magazine and 15 live rounds of 762 ammunition, which is normally used by combat troops.”
The suspect in the case was later charged with attempted murder, but ended up being killed before the matter went to court.
According to Commissioner Baines, Detective Francis displays a deft touch with what the commissioner calls “hard-edged” policing that sometimes requires him to ruffle some feathers to solve a case.
“He’s [investigating] an allegation of attempted rape,” Mr. Baines said. “The victim had been coerced and threatened…not to give full details of the [incident], because it was likely to lead to infractions of employment law. “He saw through that, he made sure that evidence came to light and that a young lady, a victim, got justice on this Island, despite attempts to cover it up by others who should have known better.”
The coup de grace for Detective Francis came last year while investigating a series of armed robberies that had plagued Cayman.
“Many of the robberies in 2010 had a common theme; the suspects were masked or disguised,” Commissioner Baines said. “DC Francis did not let that stop him. He looked at all of the CCTV, had seen partial elements from different investigations and was able to put a composite picture of what the suspect looked like by taking bits and elements from different parts of different investigations.
“One night while at George Town hospital on a completely unrelated matter, he spotted a male in the parking lot who looked just a bit like the guy he had been looking for.
He challenged the individual, arrested the individual, found out that this was a Jamaican national who travelled here by an illegal canoe, lived off the proceeds of drugs and then was involved in robberies.
That individual was charged and convicted of fraud.” Police work can be hard on family life. And Mr. Baines pointed out that Detective Francis has a wife and family at home in Jamaica that he does not often get to see. “He’s only able to spend a limited quantity of time with them and he’s doing that for the benefit of the Cayman Islands,” Mr. Baines said.
Davis “Scottie” Scott, RCIPS Police Officer of the Year
Capturing an armed criminal suspect is always tricky, but doing it while you are unarmed might be described as crazy. For Senior Police Constable “Scottie” Scott it’s called a day’s work. One overnight period in April 2010, PC Scott and a group of officers were out trying to track down a drug canoe in the bush.
“It was somewhat of a confused situation, they were operating in darkness,” Commissioner Baines said.
“Senior Constable Scott and his team chased two men seen in wet clothing in East End in the early hours of the morning.”
The guy had a 9mm handgun, according to Mr. Baines. As part of the same operation, a second suspect was rounded up along with two more weapons, 60 rounds of ammunition, half a pound of cocaine, and 600 pounds of ganja.
The officer who got the collar on the second suspect: Constable Davis Scott.
“Those two men involved are serving nine and five years respectively,” Mr. Baines said.
A few months later, June 2010, shots were fired at a pair of police officers by suspects fleeing the scene of a robbery at Mostyn’s Esso in Bodden Town. Constable Scott moved his team in to assist with a search in a heavily wooded area.
“He moved his team in an unmarked police vehicle to carry out observations in an area where he thought the offender may emerge,” Commissioner Baines said.
“His local knowledge made sure he was the right person, right place, right time. As he was watching in a covert vehicle, out pops this young man on a telephone arranging for a vehicle to collect him. As the vehicle arrives, he and his team intervene to arrest the offender.”
“If you ever want to see what professional policing looks like, you won’t go far wrong with Mr. Scott.”