Police service welcomes new graduating class of recruits

Acting Governor Franz Manderson performs an inspection of the guard for the graduating RCIPS class.

They have the right to remain vigilant.

The Royal Cayman Islands Police Service celebrated the graduation of its newest recruit class on Thursday. The nine new officers will be moving directly from training to operational duty.

The officers were feted at the Harquail Theatre Thursday afternoon, and they demonstrated their marching ability before striding across the stage to receive their diplomas. The recruit class ranged in age from 19 to 37 and successfully navigated an 18-week training course to become officers.

“Policing is not easy, and the training has not been easy either,” said Sharon Graham, head of training for the RCIPS, during the graduation ceremony for the recruits. “These officers have overcome some personal challenges. They have adapted to a more disciplined environment and flourished with the help and support of their tutors both in the classroom and operationally.”

The recruits – Chevel Buchanan, Mario Dadal, Bennard Ebanks Jr., Caswell Ferguson, Matthew Greaves, Salaiman Muhammad, Philip Neale-Bodden, Jonathan Parchment and David Peddie – endured classroom work, four weeks of operational development and a week of driver training.

The new officers will begin their careers by being paired with an experienced officer for on-the-job training, and they will be evaluated for independent patrolling while they learn. They will work through a two-year probationary period before being confirmed in rank by Commissioner Derek Byrne.

“Any graduation is a great occasion for a police service,” Mr. Byrne said. “We’re welcoming new blood, new people coming in that add value to the service.

“Policing has changed over the years, and the traditional method of the notebook and pen is unfortunately long gone. We’re moving to a sophisticated, complex environment where technology will lead us. We need new people, a new breed of police officer.”

Mr. Greaves was named best academic student and best overall student in the recruiting class, and he also delivered the student’s response to the remarks offered by Acting Governor Franz Manderson.

Mr. Dadal was named Best Drill, and Mr. Parchment earned the Most Improved Student award.

Mr. Muhammad was cited for the best embodiment of Team Spirit in the recruiting class.

“The mere fact that you are here today tells me a lot about your character, your commitment and your bravery. You’ve already shown it,” said Mr. Manderson shortly before the recruits received their diplomas. “We have given you excellent training, but there are things we cannot give you – attributes like passion, integrity and professionalism, which are our core values in the civil service.”

The RCIPS now accepts year-round applications for police constables at its website, www.rcips.ky, and Mr. Byrne told the new graduates exactly what they can expect from their new profession.

“You will experience the happiest and greatest times working as colleagues together,” he said. “You will experience fantastic, rewarding days where you’ve delivered something and done something really important in your community. You will also see the saddest of times. You will see the saddest of things that society can throw at you, and we’re there to support you in those times and train you during the next phase of your training to prepare you for these issues and these scenes you’ll come across.”