Although the new single-member district voting set up will not require a greater number of police officers to patrol on Election Day, police commanders said the public can expect to see a visible presence of officers throughout the day May 24.
There will be police officers at each of the 19 polling locations around Grand Cayman and the Sister Islands, as well as additional patrols around voting areas.
The RCIPS is familiar with this sort of patrolling requirement, because under the old multimember district voting system roughly the same number of polling locations were used.
Elections Supervisor Wesley Howell said 18 polling locations were set up during the 2013 elections, compared to 19 – one in each single-member constituency – this time.
“We’re just adding one this time around,” Mr. Howell said.
One major change for the RCIPS, according to Chief Inspector Patrick Beersingh: “We are no longer inside of the polling stations,” he said.
Police can be called by the returning officer, if necessary, but unless that unlikely event occurs, they will stay outside.
“We will also be doing more robust patrols focusing on ensuring the Queen’s peace is maintained outside of the polling locations,” Mr. Beersingh said.
In his 20 years of working or volunteering in local elections, Mr. Howell said he’s never heard of one arrest being required at a polling location.
“[We’ve seen] persons coming in inebriated, being unruly or just rambunctious … most of those things we can just talk down,” Mr. Howell said.