I am saddened by the apparent xenophobic attitudes displayed by a number of writers in calling for the resignation of Police Commissioner David Baines following the conviction of a serving Royal Cayman Islands Police Service officer for murder in Jamaica.
The situation leading to the employment of the ex-Jamaican Constabulary officer by the RCIPS seems to have come about as a result of an appalling lack of disclosure by the Jamaican authorities and not a failure of due diligence by the RCIPS.
The RCIPS has just concluded a major recruitment campaign. If there was a willingness by suitably qualified Caymanians, why would that be required? The truth is that there is an insufficient number of Caymanians willing to serve. That being said, a police service ought to reflect the demographics of the society it serves.
The post of commissioner is an onerous one and has to be filled after careful selection; hopefully from a number of well qualified candidates. Promoting someone from within only works if the selected person is capable, well trained for the post and has the relevant experience. Otherwise the appointee will be doomed to failure as, unfortunately, not-too-distant history shows.
To my knowledge no presently serving Caymanian officer, including the local deputy commissioner, has applied for the commissioner post in the past recruitments for that position.
Commissioner Baines has shown he has the qualities, both as the Commissioner of Police and, in extreme circumstances at the beginning of this year, as a “street cop.”
When he eventually retires I hope that his replacement is the best candidate because of his abilities and not as a sop to ill-informed rants on blogs or other media outlets.
Editor’s Note: Mr. Haines is a former RCIPS detective chief superintendent and a recipient of the Queen’s Police Medal and Colonial Police Medal.