A recent conference held by the police association on 31 May to assist in the education and welfare of officers saw a low number of officers turn out.
Police Association Chairman Rudolph Gordon explained that the exercise was the first of its kind and pointed out why the undertaking was important.
“We realise that police are human beings and have the same challenges as everyone else. The association ensures that our members are educated and have the tools to cope with everyday life, apart from normal police training. Our aim is to enhance family and work life and take a holistic approach to the officers’ wellbeing.” He said the training workshop would offer officers tools to empower themselves and be more effective officers.
“Issues at home will be reflected in our interaction with citizens during the course of official duties. Some of the concerns we have as officers, such as the fact that crime is our responsibilty to control can create anxiety. Pension issues are also a concern. Some officers do not have full pension and those who do have full pension need to know if that will be adequate,” he continued.
The Police Association was formed in 1994. There are 230 officers in the organisation out of the over 300 officers in the Royal Cayman Islands Police Service. No officers above the rank of superintendant are in the association.
“Sometime the public see the police as superhuman. We are expected to answer every question and solve every problem. However, if we cannot balance work and family it is not good,” explained Mr. Gordon.
Topics covered in the day-long seminar included finances, health and wellness, social issues and how to manage stress.
Detective Sergeant Winsome Prendergast said the turnout was, unfortunately, low.
“Unfortunately many police are not supportive of this kind of training and do not realize the importance of what it is. I do know the conference was well advertised internally.”
Ms Prendergast added that the exercise was not mandatory and that she was meeting with Commissioner David Baines to see how it might be possible to get more officers to attend in the future.