Instability challenges RCIPS

| 27/11/2008

(CNS): Speaking to the people of the East End community, Area Commander of the district Richard Barrow admitted that the Royal Cayman Islands Police Service (RCIPS) was still facing challenging times as a result of the instability at the top leadership level in the service, but that his officers were doing a good job given the circumstances. He said they were all getting through because of the support of the community.

“We are still facing troubled waters,” Barrow said, “but with your support and that of our MLA we are dealing with these issues.”

Given the circumstances surrounding the suspension of the RCIPS senior officers and the cloud of suspicion hanging over the entire service as the secret investigation drags on, Barrow admitted that it has been difficult for his officers.

MLA for East End, Arden McLean, was present at the meeting and said he was hoping to see some stability in the force now that Stuart Kernohan, the former Police Commissioner had been sacked.

“I think the RCIPS will get over this and now Kernohan is gone, well I’m happy with that. We can’t be on a temporary leash forever; we need to get back to getting some confidence in the police,” he said. “There needs to be some permanence and I hope we see it.”

 Although the Special Police Investigation Team (SPIT) has been in Cayman since September 2007 reportedly investigating the RCIPS, so far aside from two misconduct charges brought against Deputy Commissioner Rudy Dixon (who is still suspended from duty on full pay) for offences allegedly committed in 2003  no other officer has been charged with any offences.

Kernohan was fired by Governor Stuart Jack earlier this month in the wake of the publication of an open letter he had sent to the Governor asking for reinstatement, but he was never formally interviewed regarding the investigation.  Meanwhile, Chief Superintendent John Jones remains suspended on full pay but no charges have been brought against him, nor has he been interviewed regarding the enquiry which has been going on since September of 2007.

Besides the instability with regards police management, Barrow said he also faced staffing problems with a relatively new force in the eastern districts and a shortage of bodies due to a number of officers not renewing contracts.

During the meeting, the problems of young people committing crime, the law being too soft and traffic offences were raised, but most of those in attendance at the small meeting were supportive of their local officers.

Barrow confirmed that he and his staff would be back in the district for another meeting soon following the arrival of yet another temporary acting commissioner, James (Jim) Smith, at the beginning of next month.

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Comments (4)

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  1. Twyla M Vargas says:

    ROLL OVER DISTRICT COPS

    I see Bodden Town Top Cop Chief Barrow  and Insp. Yearwood  doing a good job with communicating,  physically and mentally within  the districts under his command.  They have been really getting out there and getting their hands dirty now.

    Yes it may be difficult times for the officers  because of short staffed and having to cover three districts, but I think some of his officers that has been serving the diisrict need a change to other areas.  Yes, a 1 year roll over to Other out stations, George Town, West Bay or Cayman Brac  would do good. 

     Some new faces would do good, and besides it would be refreshing for the officers and the district.  Remember New brooms sweep clean while old brooms know corners.  So we ask ourselves, do we want to clean house or just the corners.

  2. Shaun Ebanks says:

    Let me just take this opportunity and commend C/Inspector Richard Barrow and Inspector Ian Yearwood of the Police Out Stations, who I know are honest, hardworking and committed officers for the eastern districts. I once worked with these two officers and was their superior for a number of years. In fact, I was instrumental (partly) in hiring both of them when they arrived as police officers from Barbados many years ago. For the most part, the officers whom arrived from Barbados delivered positively to the RCIPS and the Caymanian Islands Community, even up until today, despite the instability and lack of positive leadership that exist at the top.

    No doubt these two competent officers like many others are under enormous challenges, to accomplish their daily assigned task’s and attempt to regain the confidence of the public. However, it is no fault of them and many others, that it was lost due to lack of foresight back in 2005-06.

    Let me just say, it is so sad to see that officers such as Mr. Barrow, Mr. Yearwood and many others, are paying the "ultimate price" today for all the others who "strongly embraced" the past Police Administration who guided them down the path of uncertainty with the infamous "MATRIX PLAN". Can any of them tell me today what are the benefits/outcome of this "MATRIX PLAN" and is it even being practiced anymore in the RCIPS ??????

    Please, with all the financial resources that the PPM provided to the RCIPS, I wouldlike to see the "true crime figures" particularly in apprehensions/detections of firearms and drug smuggling between September 2005- April 2008. (I do not hold individual officers responsible, as I know they were only following the instructions/directions of Gold Command)

    I just recently learnt that some of these same officers who were pro MATRIX (not all) are now onboard the band wagon trying every which way they can to leave/resign and get established in other positions within government. Case in point, "Deputy Chief Immigration- Enforcement Post" which is now vacant and being applied for from Constables straight up to Superintendents. Many do not even want top promotions in the RCIPS anymore which is now lying in front of them. Absoutely amazing to me, when years ago, it was a fight for the best man to win the upcoming promotions. Absolutely amazing the 360′ degree turn that the RCIPS has undergone lately.

    Well I don’t know what is next for the RCIPS but I do understand there is "once again" a new Acting Commissioner who will be arriving on the 1st of December 2008. I’m sure he like everyone else that arrived previously has a set agenda. My prediction is that he’s only here to take control of SPIT and replace Martin Bridger who will eventually leave and then we’re back to square one, "Chasing More Ghosts" with more law suits to follow, for the taxpayers to pay.

     

     

     

  3. Anonymous says:

    Who brought this instability in the RCIPS Seems to be the same people complaining about the this investigation dragging on. What is clear however is that the intergrity and respect for the RCIPS needs to be restored desperately. Crying about more manpower obviously is not the solution when we still have a serious problem in the RCIPS. Hiring more officers from a certain jurisdiction which has very very serious problems with corruption is certainly not going to help the current instability problems. Of course I am not a police officer what do i know? Keep up the Good work Mr Jack you are on the right track it is not a popularity contest. Cayman’s future is at stake and you aren’t running for elected office.

    • Anonymous says:

      I would like to ask: What is this ‘certain jurisdiction’ to which we refer, relative to corruption? How many officers do we now have serving from this jurisdiction? Has there been officers from this ‘certain jurisdiction’ who have been accused of, or convicted even, of any corruption related matters in the RCIPS?

      To Shaun: Cutting and running disqualifies one from critizing the process as a former member. unless you resigned/retired on principle with the intention to continue the improvement of the RCIPS from without.  I think you should now speak as a citizen. Many officers who remain to fight the good fight, even those who shared different points of views on important matters, are especially disappointed that you left.

      Disappointed.