Police seek new recruits

The Royal Cayman Islands Police Service launched its third and final recruitment drive for 2019 over the weekend.

Scores of residents attended the RCIPS training centre on Saturday at Governors Square to learn more about job opportunities with the police if they are able to pass the rigorous background checks and fitness requirements.

“A lot of people think of policing in terms of the people that you see on the streets, in terms of the officer who’s on patrol or who is directing traffic, or our officers who would probably solve crime,” said RCIPS chief HR manager Marielle Hilaire. “We have a lot of specialist units, so today’s intention was to create that level of visibility within the public in terms of what we actually do.”

Hilaire said they are looking to recruit from 12 to 20 new officers. People interested in applying need a minimum of three CXC (Caribbean Examination Council) passes, which must include English and maths. Suitably qualified Caymanians will be given preference; however, similar to the previous recruitment drive in June, the opportunity will also be open to non-Caymanians who qualify.

Applicants must be between 18 and 40 years old, Hilaire said. “We want to have a certain amount of new faces and … vibrant youth within the RCIPS. But it’s not just about that. [We want] persons who are willing to be committed to the cause and to really push forward in the best interest of the community.

The RCIPS currently employs 486 people, 50 of whom are administrative support staff.

Police Commissioner Derek Byrne said the aim of the recruitment drive isn’t simply to bolster the rank and file of his officers. “We normally have an attrition rate, annually, of somewhere between 30 and 34 persons,” he said. “So, we need to be ready with a strategic human workforce planning model that tells us we need 50 people for 2020, and we need to be getting ready now.”

[*]The commissioner has previously complained that salaries and benefits afforded to officers weren’t competitive enough, when compared to other uniformed services. Those lack of benefits were described as key factors contributing to the police force’s annual attrition rate. However, on Saturday, Hilaire said that the RCIPS has since been able to offer more attractive packages to help would-be recruits decide whether a life of fighting crime is for them.

Byrne has spent the last 36 years policing communities in various jurisdictions.

“I joined because I suppose growing up, I was surrounded by families of police officers,” said Byrne. “I was inspired by those [people], I liked the idea of policing, and I have never regretted one day in this jurisdiction or other jurisdictions that I have worked in.”

[*] Editors Note:

In a story that ran on Monday, 25 Nov. 2019, titled, ‘Police seek new recruits’, Police Commissioner Derek Bryne was quoted as saying salaries and benefits afforded to officers weren’t competitive enough, when compared to other uniformed services. The story went on to say those lack of benefits were key factors which contributed to the police services annual attrition rate.

This is incorrect. Those comments were made by former Police Commissioner David Baines during a press conference held in November 2015.