Interest high in police recruitment drive

At least 40 prospective police officers showed up for the Royal Cayman Islands Police Service open house on Saturday. The RCIPS is taking applications this month and hopes to find 12 to 15 qualified recruits to start training in August. 

To join the police service as entry-level officers, applicants must be Caymanian or have permanent residency, have a clean criminal record, be physically fit and have a high school diploma. Police say they have received several dozen applications so far this month and expect more to come in by the cutoff date at the end of April. 

Inspector Kevin Ashworth, the RCIPS training and development manager, said the open house Saturday was meant to give candidates “a relaxed atmosphere to ask questions about the process and about policing in general.” He had officers from the department’s various units on hand to speak with applicants one-on-one about being an entry-level constable. 

Speaking at the Governor’s Square police training center Saturday, Inspector Ashworth said the young recruits he trains each year “have the prospect of becoming senior officers and will be the future leaders in the department.” 

Constable Gregory Banks, 22, who is finishing up his first year with the RCIPS, said he was surprised by just how close his job brings him to the community. He’s on shift duty, meaning he responds to calls in George Town. 

“I didn’t know how much I would be involved with people on a daily basis,” he said. “I go to a report and I can see I’ve made a difference for people.” 

Assuming recruits make it through the exams, medical tests and an interview, they are offered a seat in the 16-week training course. In the 17th week, they have to sit for another set of exams before they can graduate. New constables are assigned a more senior officer as a tutor after graduation and they work together for six to eight weeks. New constables are not permitted to work on their own until their tutors sign off. 

Constables have a two-year probation period before becoming full members of the police service and can then look into a specialization like the marine unit or financial crimes. 

RCIPS will host a second open house Wednesday 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Governor’s Square training center.