Julian Lewis will take over next month as head of the Cayman Islands 911 Emergency Communications Centre after being named to the position Wednesday by the Ministry of Home Affairs.
Mr. Lewis is set to replace Brent Finster, a veteran U.S. emergency communications manager, who has held the post at 911 for the last seven years and who has established an “impressive legacy,” according to ministry officials.
Mr. Finster is credited with helping establish the territory’s first national CCTV public safety monitoring system and with the implementation and expansion of the electronic monitoring system for criminal offenders. Both of those systems are monitored 24-7 from the 911 center.
“Mr. Finster was also one of the first department heads in the Ministry of Home Affairs to implement a formal succession plan,” said ministry chief officer Eric Bush. “The rigorous recruitment process proves that succession planning works.”
Mr. Lewis, a former police officer who also has a law degree, was one of two Caymanian assistant directors at 911 who were mentored by Mr. Finster in their development.
In addition to handling new responsibilities of electronic monitoring and CCTV, the call volumes handled by 911 have increased sharply in recent years. Calls to service made to 911 rose about 20 percent between 2014 and 2015, according to the ministry.
“No two days are the same,” Mr. Lewis said. “Yet while the demands on our 24 members of staff are high, they are invariably handled adeptly.”
Mr. Bush said he welcomed the appointment of Mr. Lewis, a Caymanian, following the relatively recent appointments of two non-Caymanians, David Hails in the fire service and Neil Lavis in the prisons, within the ministry’s public safety departments.
Mr. Lewis served with the Royal Cayman Islands Police for 11 years before joining 911 in 2011.