MLAs left out on top cop’s contract

Cayman Islands Police Commissioner David Baines got a new four-year contract last week without the benefit of his job being advertised or Legislative Assembly members who serve on the National Security Council being told about it.  

Governor Duncan Taylor announced the four-year contract renewal in a statement Thursday, saying he did consult with the two citizen members of the National Security Council prior to making his decision.  

According to a spokesperson from the governor’s office: “As set out in the Constitution, the Police Law and the Public Service Management Law, the governor has exclusive discretion on the appointment or reappointment of the commissioner of police. In coming to his decision, the governor chose to consult Mr. [Dan] Scott and Ms [Brigitte] Kirkconnell-Shaughness who, as the two civil society representatives on the National Security Council, have responsibility for bringing the views of the community to the governor on issues such as this. 

“The governor is satisfied with the commissioner’s performance and believes that Mr. Baines is the right person to build on the foundations, which he has laid.” 

The two civilian members of the council released a joint statement about the reappointment, which will leave Mr. Baines as the commissioner of the Royal Cayman Islands Police Service until at least mid-2017.  

“As representatives of civil society, we support the renewal of Commissioner David Baines’ contract for another four years. The crime level that the Cayman Islands is experiencing is unacceptable, but we believe that the efforts of Commissioner Baines and the RCIPS have led to the successful prevention and prosecution of serious crime, though much work is still to be done,” Mr. Scott and Mrs. Kirkconnell-Shaughness said.  

Health Minister Mark Scotland, who has served on the security council since its inception, attending 20 of the group’s 24 meetings between 2010 and 2012, said the first he learned of Mr. Baines’ contract renewal was through the media on Thursday night.  

Asked Friday if he was still on the security council, Mr. Scotland remarked: “After what I saw [Thursday] night, I need to re-check.  

“I can’t say, constitutionally, that I should have been consulted, but I think, just as a courtesy as a member of the National Security Council I would have been,” he said.  

Mr. Scotland indicated that his other colleagues in Cabinet were not consulted on the decision, though Premier Juliana O’Connor-Connolly had not responded to requests for comment about the matter by press time.  

Opposition Leader Alden McLaughlin was also not consulted on the decision, though he was uncertain of his position on the security council given the dissolution of the Legislative Assembly in March. 

Mr. McLaughlin served as a member of the National Security Council during 2011 and 2012 and said he had no view either way as to whether Mr. Baines should have been reappointed. However, he generally questioned whether the governor should retain sole power to choose such critically important public employees such as police commissioner.  

Mr. McLaughlin’s People’s Progressive Movement government in 2008 proposed changes to the Constitution that would have introduced a “Police Authority” – an appointed body granted the powers to select senior police service officers, including the commissioner. The proposal was not included in the 2009 Constitution Order because of a lack of consensus, he said.  

“It’s inappropriate for such major matters as the appointment of the commissioner of police to be handled by the governor alone,” Mr. McLaughlin said.  

Minister Scotland said he did have some concerns about Mr. Baines’ performance.  

“The jury’s still out on the [commissioner], you know,” Mr. Scotland said. “The greatest area where we haven’t seen improvement is within the police service itself.” Mr. Scotland’s statements referred to a number of recent cases where police officers have brought legal proceedings against the department over various disciplinary issues or dismissals from the police service.  

Some of the recent cases include:  

A police constable sued Mr. Baines and an RCIPS chief inspector claiming he was assaulted twice on duty by the chief inspector.  

A police inspector who was demoted, then reinstated has now filed a complaint with the governor against Mr. Baines and Deputy RCIPS Commissioner Steve Brougham.  

A request for judicial review has been filed by a veteran police officer who was terminated following a disciplinary hearing. He appealed the matter, won his job back and was then retired by Commissioner Baines.  

The head of the police association was placed under investigation by the department after he spoke to the Caymanian Compass about lie detector tests that were given to more than 40 serving police officers. He was eventually cleared and the department claimed the investigation had nothing to do with the inspector speaking with the press.  

There have been repeated complaints from police and some legislators that the RCIPS internal disciplinary process is unfair. 

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20 COMMENTS

  1. I am not surprised that the Governor would take this upon himself to make this decision. it only go to show Cayman men and women what the UK in authority think about us: They are the Bosses:
    My suggestion is for Cayman men and women to try and stick to gather, although that is like requesting them to find a needle in a hay stack, impossible, and why? Power Let the chips fall where they may, but or LA Members, and want to be LA Members need to understand we are watching you just to see how far you will let outsiders go.

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  2. Hunter – Caymanians cannot stick together as Mr. Bush has divided this country by party politics. UDP against PPM and C4C against independence. Now he has made an issue between the UK and the Governor of which he or the Cayman Islands can win.

    Sad we definitely not our brothers keeper.

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  3. WOW and WOW! The reason I say wow is that Caymanians like being treated like servants and slaves so they will not even find this distasteful. Its ok for the Governor to appoint the Commissioner if he wants but common courtesy says, he speaks to the entire Board and not his favourite two. It shows a lack of respect for even our Ministers of Government and the typical British way of snubbing people and their arrogance. What Caymanians do not even realise is that by 2017 this commissioner will have eligibility to apply for Caymanian Status so he will then have all the rights and priviledges of a Caymanian and does that mean he cannot be removed from his post by virtue of not needing a contract and if he is fired because of lack of performance will he then sue the Government for millions? Catch 22 Cayman and watch it – you are screwed either way. Wake up Cayman – you must learn to listen even when you do not agree with the speaker – learn to discern and pick sense out of nonsense. This is quickly becoming a duplicate of Turks and Caicos and even faster becoming a colonial state! Slavery is next?

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  4. Well Baines may not be perfect, but I’ll sleep better knowing that there is a professional in the top seat rather than someone who spends all their time in an air-conditioned cruiser on a cell-phone.

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  5. Personally, I have no problems with Baines, or any other commissioner for that matter being retained. But the country must first be convinced of his performance record being of exceptional achievements as well as to see where he stands with his goals set versus achievement made to date. If his performance is such that he demonstrated a measurable improvement in the safety of country, not just in crime prevention but also in improving the overall morale of civilian society, including that of his peers. Then I would agree for his renewal of contract. Otherwise, this whole renewal process is simply a farce!

    Lets hear of your performance results to date commissioner and, to think of it, same for you Governor Tailor.

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  6. Given the proximity of the election, and the disbanding of the government in preparation, plus the government being an interim measure since Bush was ousted, I see why the MLA’s were not involved and only the civilian members of the council were consulted.

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  7. Given it is the silly season and some politicians will say anything to get elected or reelected making this decision without their imput was the only way to go.

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  8. As representatives of civil society, we support the renewal of Commissioner David Baines’ contract for another four years.
    Hmmm..let me say this..Dan and Brigitte certainly don’t represent ME..I am not a partner in a top 10 accounting firm..I was not born with a silver spoon in my mouth and a guaranteed job in my families business upon birth..I don’t live in a million dollar house in a gated community and hobnob with bigwigs at every by Invite only social event.. and I reckon 99.9% of the people in this country aren’t either, so you can take that BS statement and throw it in the trash..
    As for HE not bothering to inform with Mr. Scotland with regards to the re-appointment, I have this to say, Mr. Scotland may not be the most popular guy in the room but guess what, he is a Democratically elected member and appointed Minister and sits on the National Security council. For the Governor to exercise his constitutional power without having the courtesy of informing the sitting Minister is an insult and just goes to show a very ugly persona under that carefully polished veneer. It makes no difference if the Governor dislikes Mr. Scotland. Heck, a LOT of us dislike Mr. Scotland, but this was an outright snub and smacks of political partisanship and was a very divisive act and continues to perpetrate the US and THEM mentality.

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  9. I am a Bayer and Cayman is my home and bo bo or teed de, I am appaled to see and hear what is transpiring in my beloved Cayman Islands.

    It is about time we have a Caymanian Commissioner. Since then we’ve never had another Caymanian Commissioner to my knowledge. We have numerous qualified Caymanians in the Service if given the chance can become Commissioner.

    Mr. Ennis is a perfect candidate because he is educated, intelligent and has the experience to run the Service..but the poor man said long time ago that he does not want it for whatever reason. I can put my head on the chopping block it is because of ‘politricks’ not politics in the system.

    You see how the poor man was set up in Tempura by some ‘nasty’ powers that be, that almost caused the man his entire career. Thank God he was vindicated and there is still blame going around as to who set the man up.

    Mr. Ennis, as a Caymanian to a Caymanian, my advice to you is to watch your back bo bo, cause they have plenty sheep in wolves clothing around you.

    You have the qualifications, the ‘testicular fortutide’ as Joey would say to rund that Service without fear or favour but with the facts of each case presented.

    Don’t let anyone pressure you and push you out of the Service. You do your best to stay there until you’re ready to leave.

    Bo Bo we Bayers praying for you.

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  10. Rorschach, you have also been mud-slinging at the Commissioners appointed to RCIPS on another website. Accusing them of having been Fast Tracked into supervisory positions, bounced from one management post to another and retired as nothing more than a Chief Inspector or Superintendent at the most who then decided to fly out to Cayman and become the Commissioner of Police (I have corrected most of the grammatical and spelling mistakes in your original comment).

    But the fact is that both David Baines and Stuart Kernohan were ACCs before coming to the Cayman Islands.

    The impression you give suggests is that you might in fact be a senior local RCIPS officer who feels they could do a better job. Would you care to comment on this possibility?

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  11. You guys are sick
    I used to live in the USA during saggregation.
    You guys are sicker to the core
    If you want black and white
    You will never win

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  12. Funny, we have a commissioner who must spend a large portion of his time investigating the most corrupt government the Cayman Islands has ever seen, and we have sitting minister of that government complaining about his lack of input into the selection of the investigator, even though the constitution denies input by any MLA.

    Even funnier, we have the opposition, which brought said constitution, complaining about the inappropriateness of the constitutional process of selecting the commissioner.

    You have got to be kidding me. You are kidding right?

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  13. I sent in a post earlier, but I haven’t seen it. I have now amended, let’s see if this one will be posted.

    See I told unna so…Duncan Taylor is looking out for his country man David Baines!! This is more corruption!

    Why would Duncan Taylor consult civilans that are not even members of the LA who do not represent Cayman and its people?

    Another thing I want to tell you all, that Taylor, and Baines and our own Caymanians in high positions don’t care about us Caymanians any more…we are already minority in our own country when things like this happen.

    They both need pack their bags and leave an go back homegood bye, safe travels!!

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  14. What arrogance! Colonialism is alive and well in the Cayman Islands.

    Let the bigots give this comment a thumbs-down as that will only serve to expose their true feelings and intentions.

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  15. catchandrelease: So if the Governor considers the UDP has been discourteous to him, does it really make it right for him to now be discourteous to our current Premier and another former UDP member plus the PPM leader?

    The reason the Governor should have consulted with the Premier, the Leader of the Opposition, and Minister Scotland, is that they are the three members of the National Security Council who were elected by we the people and as such they also deserve the courtesy of being included in consultations on an appointment so important to our nation’s security. It would have been a proper process. The outcome quite possibly would have ended up the same, but the process would certainly have been much more respectable.

    And shouldn’t we be concerned when we see the Governor walking down the substance over process path espoused by our former Premier, when we have already seen glaring examples of the tendency of that path to end up in disappointment and/or failure? The way this extension was done unfortunately casts a shadow on the Governor which is counterproductive to building confidence in our islands’ good governance. Let’s hope our Governor sees the error he made and doesn’t walk that path again.

    The questionable way the Governor handled this also to some extent casts a shadow on the tenure of the Commissioner of Police that is unfortunately counterproductive to his efforts to engender and sustain the confidence the people of these islands need to have in him, for him to have the best chance of succeeding. I hope the Commissioner quickly emerges from that shadow that was not of his own making, and I wish him every success in his endeavors to keep our islands safe, secure, and law-abiding.

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