Plainclothes detectives, scenes of crime officers and financial crimes investigators hit the streets in their Royal Cayman Islands Police Service uniforms during a community warrant sweep last week, getting a chance to mingle with the public while carrying out regular patrol duties.
Although some of the officers had not worn an RCIPS uniform or performed routine patrol duties in years, they took part in a community policing initiative that seeks to put more officers in touch with the “man in the street” on a monthly basis.
The warrant sweep ended up with 37 arrests, including two for burglaries and one on a U.S. extradition warrant.
“All of us were out in uniform, including our detectives, to be more visible to the community as we cleared outstanding warrants for the court and enforced the laws we need to regulate our roads,” said Supt. Robert Graham, who usually does wear his uniform to work each day.
Beat patrols in George Town, West Bay and Bodden Town were also conducted, during which officers spoke with residents about their crime concerns.
“It never fails that every time you walk through an area and meet with people, you hear something you didn’t know,” said Deputy Commissioner Kurt Walton, who patrolled several neighborhoods in central George Town during the warrant sweep.
The monthly community patrols, called the “Uniform Day of Action,” is being organized by RCIPS Commissioner Derek Byrne as a way to give police officers a larger uniformed presence on the streets and get more officers out to meet residents.
Since his arrival in Cayman last year, Mr. Byrne has backed a much greater emphasis on neighborhood-oriented policing.
He has proposed boosting the number of neighborhood officers to about 10 percent of the total RCIPS staff. Those are officers whose primary responsibility is to patrol the various communities and make contact with residents in each area with an eye toward building trust and getting more information if crime does happen.