Frontline worker profiles: Volunteer police commander has triple role

Chris Duggan believes a friendly approach is the best policy at roadblocks. Photo: Andrel Harris.

As vice president of business development for Dart Enterprises, commandant of the special constabulary and a father-of-two, Chris Duggan has three essential roles that have expanded exponentially during the coronavirus crisis.

“It is really a trifecta,” he said, acknowledging his work would be impossible without the support of his wife, Dee, who home-schools their teenage children while planning for the reopening of her own business.

The crisis had meant early mornings and late nights, but it is a responsibility he is proud to take on.

“Cayman has been my home my whole life and this is a time when community work and community volunteerism is so critical,” he said.

For Duggan, the day starts early, answering work emails and organising his schedule. His Dart role has expanded to include playing a part in the company’s response to the pandemic. 

That includes everything from helping with the procurement of medical supplies, to chairing the Dart COVID-19 response committee, to working with government to coordinate the use of the company’s hotels as isolation facilities.

The first Zoom meeting of the day, though, is with the police senior command.

Duggan heads up the special constabulary. That doesn’t just mean weekends and evenings manning roadblocks; it also involves daily organisational briefings to help determine how the volunteer force will be deployed.

Next up is the National Emergency Operations Centre group call, which Duggan also attends. Then it is back to the day job. 

“It is definitely a full day. There is a lot of juggling going on, but we are getting it all done,” he said.

Though the Dart job can mostly be done from home, the police work takes him out on the streets. 

On weekends Duggan swaps his Dart shirt for a police uniform. – Photo: Andrel Harris

Working roadblocks and checking IDs of people on their way to the supermarket is an unusual task for law enforcement, and he believes a friendly approach is required.

“This has been such a tough time for everyone; we want to make these vehicle checkpoints as easy and friendly as we can,” he told the Cayman Compass.

“This is not about trying to catch anyone out – it is really about keeping the island safe. I do it with a smile on my face, trying to keep everyone happy.”

Duggan said he was proud to be involved, both with Dart and the police, in the islands’ response to a historic challenge.

“We are experiencing something that no one has ever experienced before and we certainly hope we never have to experience again,” he said. “To be able to work in two roles which, in the frontline battle against COVID-19, is certainly something I am proud to be a part of.”

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