The Royal Cayman Islands Police Service will now have to select 12 to 15 new police officer candidates from a potential pool of 195 recruits who applied for the position following a local recruitment drive.
Some 495 people applied to the RCIPS during the month-long local recruitment campaign, but 300 of those did not meet age or nationality criteria sought by the police service.
“The campaign was a huge success,” said Felicia Deslandes, RCIPS human resources manager. “It caused a real buzz in the community and we received hundreds of enquiries about employment from people on Cayman and from overseas. We are delighted that almost 200 Caymanians have now been short-listed to go forward to the exam stage.”
For those progressing to the exams on Dec. 7 and Dec. 10, 185 are based on Grand Cayman and 10 are on Cayman Brac.
Those who pass the written exams will be invited to take the physical test in January.
The recruitment effort is being done in part to bolster the ranks of Caymanian police officers within the RCIPS, which have fallen in recent years because of a large staff increase made up of English and Jamaican officers mostly hired from abroad. There are now 169 Caymanian officers out of 396 total officers on the force – meaning about 42.5 percent of the officers are Caymanian. Those numbers do not include civilian employees working in the department.
“It’s clear that the make-up of any law enforcement agency must reflect the diversity of the communities it polices,” said RCIPS Chief Superintendent Kurt Walton, currently the second-highest ranking Caymanian employed in the police service. “Over the past few years, the number of Caymanian officers has fallen below our preferred levels as a result of natural attrition.”
The RCIPS has been one of the fastest-growing government departments over the past two years, according to records released by government in July.
The service, including both police officers and civilian employees, had 406 employees in mid-2010. Two years later, the department had grown to 475 workers.
According to the records, the number of Caymanian employees in the RCIPS between 2010 and 2012 remained virtually unchanged. All of the growth in the department derived from non-Caymanian employees, whose numbers went from 183 in 2010 to 253 last year – almost a 30 per cent increase.
The increase of overall staff within the police service is mostly due to an increase in police officers during the period. The number of RCIPS officers staffing the department in early 2011 was 364. According to records released to the newspaper last November, the police service had 408 officers. That number has apparently now fallen to 396, as of the service’s latest count.