The Royal Cayman Islands Police Service has added four custom-built Chevrolet Tahoe vehicles to its Firearms Response Unit fleet.

The SUVs have been fitted with upgraded emergency lighting and reflective decals to identify the FRU to provide increased visibility during patrols and response, according to the RCIPS.

Two of the vehicles have been equipped with winch capabilities which can pull more than 1 ton. “This capability, along with the size of the vehicles themselves, will add to their potential usefulness during national disasters such as hurricanes, where they may be used to help remove debris or clear roadways,” the police said in a statement.

Commissioner of Police Derek Byrne said, “The vehicles were purchased because of the need to replace some of the vehicles in the unit which were old and had come to [the] end of useful service.”

He added, “The vehicles, which have now become operational, are deployed on high visibility crime prevention and patrols, armed response and security details that form a part of the unit’s mandate. The vehicles will be used exclusively by the Firearm Response Unit.”

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Cayman Compass reached out to the Commissioner for the price tag for the vehicles, however a police spokesperson said, “The commissioner is not ready to release the cost of the vehicles as yet.”

Governor Martyn Roper, who visited George Town Police Station to see the new vehicles, said in the statement, “Continuous improvement in our policing capability and equipment is essential to ensure the Police Commissioner’s vision of a police service at the cutting-edge of modern policing. These new vehicles will not only play a key role in the RCIPS response to day-to-day policing but will also be a valuable asset to our disaster management strategy.”

The vehicles were deployed on Friday, 11 Oct., and were on patrol throughout the weekend.

The Cayman Islands government recently has taken other steps in relation to disaster management, including an announcement on Friday of its intention to create a military regiment.

Members of the RCIPS Firearms Response Unit in front of the new fleet. – Photo: RCIPS

Premier Alden McLaughlin, UK Minister of State for the Armed Forces Mark Lancaster and Governor Martyn Roper jointly announced plans for the unit, which would be a volunteer reserve force with a handful of full-time personnel.

The initial size is expected to be between 35 and 50 members.

A second police helicopter is expected to arrive on island in December, further bolstering the islands’ ability to respond to disasters locally and regionally.

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