Walton named deputy police commissioner

RCIPS moves quickly to fill command posts

Long-serving Royal Cayman Islands Police commander Kurt Walton has been promoted from chief superintendent to deputy commissioner of police.

The governor Thursday announced Kurt Walton's appointment to deputy commissioner for the police service.
Kurt Walton

Mr. Walton, 48, succeeds Stephen Brougham, a U.K. national who is leaving the islands when his current contract expires in late September.

Mr. Walton’s promotion represented one of three command posts filled by the RCIPS in recent days that were vacant or about to become vacant.

“Chief Superintendent Walton provides an excellent example of a Caymanian reaching the highest levels in our public service,” Governor Helen Kilpatrick said.

The RCIPS also confirmed that two top positions, the head of its financial crime unit and its superintendent of operations, have been filled with overseas applicants.

The operations post would have become vacant at the end of this month with the departure of Superintendent Robert Scotland. The Financial Crime Unit job has not had full-time leadership since former superintendent Stephen Ratcliffe left in August 2015 in the midst of a two-year contract. The department declined to provide immediate details of the two new officers in those high-ranking positions.

The promotion of Mr. Walton leaves a vacancy in the chief superintendent’s job.

The RCIPS now has two Caymanian deputy commissioners, Mr. Walton and Anthony Ennis, which has not happened since the March 2008 suspension of former Deputy Commissioner Rudi Dixon in connection with the Operation Tempura scandal. Mr. Ennis will hold the acting police commissioner’s post until a permanent commissioner is selected via the application process. Neither he nor Mr. Walton has publicly expressed interest in taking on the commissioner’s job full-time.

“I … look forward to working with the new commissioner of police to review the operations of the RCIPS and to contribute to recommendations for continuous improvements,” Mr. Walton said last week.

Meanwhile, the recruitment process for a new police commissioner to replace David Baines, who officially leaves the service on Tuesday, continued last week with a behind-the-scenes winnowing of dozens of applicants. The governor’s office could not confirm Friday when it expected to have a “short list” of applicants ready, but job interviews for the post are not expected to begin until after the new government budget year starts in July.

Fifty-three people applied for the commissioner’s job, which was advertised as paying between $109,000 and $131,000 per year, plus benefits. The governor’s office has said some of the applicants are Caymanian.

Mr. Baines leaves his job a year before his contract was due to expire on May 31, 2017. Governor Kilpatrick said that repeated false and defamatory allegations about the commissioner had undermined his authority and made it “untenable” for him to continue in the job. He will be paid full salary and benefits for the remaining year of his contract.