Best cop and have-a-go-heroes top police poll

| 22/03/2012

Police Officer of the Year- Miguel Mcfarlane.jpg(CNS): Senior Police Constable Miguel McFarlane has been named Police Officer of the Year. The man responsible for walking the beat in downtown George Town and known as theface of the RCIPS is held in high regard by tourists, residents and business people alike for his professional approach, officials said following the annual RCIPS Outstanding Service Awards held last Friday. Three have-a-go heroes who, despite being threatened with a gun and pepper sprayed, detained the suspects who had terrified staff and tried to rob the Blackbeard’s liquor store in Grand Harbour last May also received the police community award at the special celebration.

CommunityAward - Blackbeard's and Sunset Divers.JPGHaving now secured the local expression “not today Bo-Bo” a place in the local history books Ray McGuire, Edward Azan and Charles Ebanks shared their award with three other people who braved treacherous seas to try and save four men who had been thrown into the water when their boat capsized in June.

Peter Foster-Smith and Charlotte Roselev, of Sunset Divers, had been on a dive boat with Charlotte’s friend Martin Jensen when they saw a small boat capsize. Peter battled extremely rough seas while Charlotte and Martin entered andthe re-entered the water, facing repeated personal danger, to pull the four men, none of whom were wearing life jackets, onto the dive boat.

They took the men to shore where paramedics were waiting.  Unfortunately one of the men could not be resuscitated and died. But for the bravery of Peter, Charlotte and Martin the death toll could have been much higher, the police said.

From the ranks of the RCIPS Constable Sharon Baillie, of West Bay, picked up this year’s Diversity Award.  “Sharon has excelled in devising projects with the young and old to keep them engaged with each other and the wider RCIPS. She is responsive to the needs of everyone in her community and is a fine example of Neighbourhood policing,’ a police spokesperson stated in a release.

The winner of the RCIPS Welfare Award was Sergeant Winsome Prendergast, a former President of the Welfare Committee, who was nominated for her unrelenting commitment to the Welfare of police staff. 

The Special Constable of the year was Medardo Martinez, one of many officers who volunteer their services and work alongside regular police officers – without pay. Medardo worked almost 700 hours in 2011, making him the Special Constabularies top performer – all while carrying out his full-time job.  He works every Friday night with the George Town shifts and has been involved in a number of significant arrests this year. He is a valuable and popular member of the RCIPS team, the RCIPS said.

Venice Tatum is the Administrative Secretary at Cayman Brac police station and was named as Support Staff Member of the Year. Venice was nominated by her colleagues seven times and for two separate awards. She is described as the “backbone”, the “heartbeat” and the “engine” of the police station – and when she is not carrying out her day-time role she is also a Special Constable.

Almost 500 people attended the awards at the Ritz-Carlton, George Town, on 16 March profits from which benefit the Police Welfare Fund.  Officials said they expected this year’s ‘do’ to surpass last year’s inaugural event which raised $50,000 for the fund.

Originally established to assist children of police officers who died while in service the fund has now expanded to cover a wide range of circumstances such as illness or injury and to support members and their dependents in times of need.

In the past year $75,000 was provided by the Fund to help 25 RCIPS families. In addition, as a direct result of last year’s inaugural RCIPS Outstanding Service Awards event, scholarships have now been offered to RCIPS staff and their children to the tune of $19,000.

Commissioner of Police David Baines, in his introductions, shared his appreciation for the overwhelming support and generosity. “Tonight we celebrate all that is good about policing and community safety in the Cayman Islands,” he said. “All while benefitting a really great cause- the Police Welfare Fund.”

He added that there had been a great response from members of the police service and from the public for the nominations

“The standard of submissions was extremely high and the judging panel had a very difficult task choosing the finalists and the eventual winners,” Baines said. “But it’s clear that everyone who was nominated, whether they are a police officer or a member of the community, should be considered a winner tonight. The fact that their bravery, their professionalism and their commitment to do the right thing inspired others to nominate them is testament to the great work that is taking place every day throughout these Islands – in the name of policing and community safety.”


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Comments (12)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    saw you tonight in person miguel well done, and well deserved, am glad that you are the 1st person that many see when they visit these shores… you are a good example!

  2. Anonymous says:

    Congrats to all but especially to Venice, the "wind beneath the wings" of the RCIPS constables on the Brac. She is always professional and efficient — and all the while maintaining a healthy sense of humour. We can all take some lessons from how she conducts herself. Well done!

  3. witney tatum says:

    Congrats sis keep up the the the excellent  job you are doing hard work and dedication brings alot of rewards in life.




  4. CashHasEveryCorputSmiling says:

    AS a down town merchant I say well DESERVED.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Great news and you deserve it Miguel, please push to get more Caymanians in the RCIPS. To the other award winners congrats.

  6. Brac Goldie says:

    This is one award that was well worked for. Congrats Miguel, you have shown the true caymanian spirit and I respect you as a young Caymanian myself having grew up with you while you were living in the brac. Also Congratulations to Venice who I also know personally and to the rest of the Police who won awards that night. Congrats to Charlo and his crew for being so brave and you also deserve this award for fighting for our country.


    Well Done once again!

    • Anonymous says:

      And congratulations to the Sunset Divers, who are not Caymanians, but saved caymanians lives by coming to Cayman and embracing their responsibility when it counted.  Celebrate the positive roles of caymanians – yes,but lets give credit across the board where is due and not make this into another CNS Cayman vs ex pats developing blog.  Everyone should be proud of all their results, Cayman or not.

  7. Ping-Pong says:

    Keep up the great work Miguel!!! I got the greatest respect for you man!

    If you became Commissioner tomorrow, more Caymanains would join. You my officers are a great example for why Caymanians should join the service. Look forward for that day.  

    Pong – on Walkers Rd


  8. Jackie Ebanks says:

    Great job, even though you did give me a parking ticket once 🙂

  9. Anonymous says:

    Congrats Miguel keep up the good work.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Congratulations to all those that won awards. I hope that you provide an inspiration to all.