50 years ago: Call for proper conduct by off-duty police

Bodden-50-years-logo-finalIn the March 2, 1966 edition of the Caymanian Weekly, a precursor of the Cayman Compass, Bodden Town correspondent Arthur Hunter wrote:

“A least 6 members of the Cayman Islands Police Force are from Bodden Town and therefore their conduct and welfare is of particular interest to the citizens of this area. While I have no desire to join in the present wave of anti-police sentiments there are certain factors that need to be exposed in the hope that by so doing the ills will be cured and a greater measure of respect merited by the force in general.

“A policeman’s duty is primarily to uphold the law and to prevent and detect crimes. His conduct should be a model to his fellow citizens, particularly the illiterate class. If a policeman commits a wrong, the general public will feel that they can do likewise. Perhaps that is why the Grand Court is always burdened with debt cases. It is unfortunate, but true, that some of the members of our force are noted delinquent debtors. This is just not good enough. They seem to delight in using their ‘exalted status’ to their own advantage and the detriment of their fellow citizens, forgetting that they are subject to the same law as John Public.

“A policeman should remember that he does not cease to be a policeman when he sheds his uniform and that the eyes of the public will critically observe him if he staggers around in plain clothes in a state of insobriety or if he drives a car in a reckless manner or at an excessive speed.

“Naturally, policemen are ordinary human beings, but on the other hand they should endeavour to place themselves in a position where they can always demand respect. No one respects those who have no self respect. As a policeman should not have to be exposed to criticism other than that attendant on his onerous tasks, let us hope that those of our force whom ‘the cap fits’ will wake up to their responsibilities and ensure that the conduct of their private lives is such that it can be emulated by every Tom, Dick and Harry.”