Police review, succession up to next commissioner

Cayman Islands Governor Helen Kilpatrick said Tuesday that all matters relating to general police operational reviews, as well as training and succession planning for Caymanian officers, will be left to the next commissioner of the Royal Cayman Islands Police Service.

The governor’s statement, issued after a late Monday night vote on what had been a Legislative Assembly “lack of confidence” motion concerning police management and methods, did not specifically commit to any overall review of the police service, though it lent support to the idea.

“The new commissioner of police will be best placed to conduct a review of policing methodology,” Ms. Kilpatrick said. “I will request that the Cayman Islands government support the incoming commissioner with any resources needed for the commissioner to add independent experts to his or her review team.

“Succession planning for Caymanian officers is already required in the new commissioner’s job description.”

Police Commissioner David Baines, as well as two key police superintendents – Robert Scotland and Mike Cranswick – will be leaving their posts in late May or early June. In addition, Deputy Commissioner Stephen Brougham is due to depart in September, at the end of his contract. Superintendent Angelique Howell and Superintendent Stephen Ratcliffe also departed in recent months.

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Mr. Baines said last weekend during the police awards gala that the RCIPS is looking at two new superintendents to replace some of those who have recently left the service. No formal announcements have been made about those hires.

Meanwhile, the government is advertising both the commissioner’s and Mr. Brougham’s positions in anticipation of their departures. The two top commanders are responsible for supervising a force that consists of more than 450 uniformed and civilian staff, which provide land, sea and air defense of the Cayman Islands, as well as routine policing duties.

“The successful candidate will have proven ability to direct policing operations in an ethnically diverse community through a diverse police force,” the job posting states. “An excellent track record in delivering change management, countering serious crime and building citizen confidence is … desirable.”

Most of the departures of senior officers were unrelated. Mr. Baines’s decision to leave was based, at least in part, on the filing of the Legislative Assembly motion that sought the “lack of confidence” vote. Governor Kilpatrick said this motion, along with other defamatory and damaging comments, made the commissioner’s position “untenable.”

The lack of confidence motion was rewritten in the Legislative Assembly late Monday after independent lawmakers agreed to a compromise with the Progressives-led government. The compromise was reached after Deputy Governor Franz Manderson criticized the motion, stating it would serve to deter young Caymanians from entering law enforcement professions in the future and would constitute a “huge disservice to the brave men and women” in the Royal Cayman Islands Police Service.

According to the compromise, supported by all 17 voting assembly members, the legislature requested that Governor Kilpatrick appoint an independent team to review RCIPS methods and administration. The legislature also asked that a succession plan be created to appoint a Caymanian officer as commissioner of police within four years.

“We have agreed to a way forward so we don’t have difficulties with our people in the near future,” East End MLA Arden McLean said late Monday. “No one really wanted to send a message that we were against the rank and file of the police department.”

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  1. I’m sure the applications will come flooding in after the last two overseas COP’s were witch hunted out. Just stick a local in charge, no experience needed as he’ll be told how to do his job anyway.