Police constable suspended over failed test
Nearly 50 Royal Cayman Islands Police officers and civilian staff members have undergone random drug tests since the start of this year, including one police officer who was suspended after failing a test.
The officer, a first-year constable in the department, has been placed on suspension pending an internal review. Police Commissioner David Baines will have the final say on the officer’s future employment in RCIPS.
“Since January 2015, 49 police staff have been randomly selected and tested and in one case a male officer tested positive for an illegal drug,” said RCIPS Superintendent Adrian Seales.
The drug testing policy at RCIPS has been in place since 2010, but Mr. Seales has not responded to questions from the Cayman Compass about whether any other members of police staff had failed the test or had their employment with the department affected due to test results within the past five years.
The testing policy applies to all members of the police staff, not just officers but civilian staff, student interns, temps, trainees and volunteers with the special constabulary.
“Persons tested range from the commissioner of police to the most junior ranks,” Mr. Seales said.
The testing policy has been in place for several years and all staff members are well aware of its existence prior to signing on with the RCIPS, Mr. Seales said. All police cadets are required to pass drug tests as a precondition of their employment, he said.
The policy deals with the “misuse” of any substances including alcohol, prescription drugs, illegal drugs or other substances “that could damage the health and safety of users and their colleagues and members of the public.”
Random drug testing is not unheard of within other Cayman Islands law enforcement departments, although it is generally not done in the civil service unless there are specific cases where drug use is suspected.
Most notably, in 2012 Her Majesty’s Prison Service drug tested 135 prison officers, including high-ranking managers, turning up all negative results. Eight prison officers who were either off island or sick at the time were not given the test.
The tests were done after ganja was found in the kitchen area of the prison’s main administration building. Prison officials apparently did not notify the RCIPS of the find until a week afterward.