Commissioner claims advances for local cops

| 31/05/2012

Baines (247x300).jpgCNS): The police commissioner was confronted with a “barrage” of issues in the RCIPS when he arrived in the Cayman Islands, he said, but since then policy changes had addressed some of the problems. Speaking to the Police Association Thursday, David Baines said he hoped staff had started to see officers being developed and properly trained, salary discrepancies addressed and the issue of pensions tackled for all serving officers. He told the membership that it was healthy for the association to sometimes be in conflict with management because it was the voice of its members and it needed to be heard by senior management when it was making strategic decisions.

Outlining how concerns raised by the membership had changed policy, the commissioner said the “barrage” of issues, such as staff members feeling they had missed out on training and equipment and watching external officers being ‘parachuted’ to the detriment of local staff, had been addressed.

Baines said that development of officers had moved on so far that members who had once bemoaned a lack of training now believed that there might even be too much training. Lack of training had been a failure of the organization, he said, and it would ensure that officers continued to receive proper training to ensure they were fit for purpose, as the world was constantly changing.  

He went on to say that the number one issue raised to him by the Police Association had been unfairness in salaries. Some constables were being paid more than sergeants, the top cop said, and some sergeants were being paid more than inspectors but he had taken action to address this situation. Baines said there were now clear demarcations between ranks so no constable was earning more than a sergeant and no sergeant earning more than inspectors.              

In his address to the conference Baines said he was pleased that the issue of pensions was being tackled because it was a concern that had been on his agenda. He pointed to officers who had arrived in Cayman many years ago but had not been eligible for pensions then and who were now retiring.

“You may not realise that some of your colleagues in the past who have spent 20 years – 27 years in one case – serving the people of the Cayman Islands who have then retired are left in some sort of limbo without medical insurance and/or pension because they had not sought residency or additional authority to remain on the island,” he explained.

“They have no connection with the country they left 20 odd years ago, no family and no connectivity there so we are working actively to try and ensure that people who have served the country so well are looked after in the future.”

Baines went on to say that sometimes senior management was in conflict with members of the Police Association and that such conflict was actually healthy. At one end of the scale there were members and junior officers and at the other there were the public and government expectations, as well as funding.

“I’m sure if we asked all of your members if they should get a pay rise you would get 100 per cent ‘yes’ and if we asked the community it would be 100 per cent ‘no’,” he said. “We have to manage the tension between the two. To that end, while we may have our differences, what is critical to me is that I understand the concerns of staff members when we discuss strategies policies, so when the senior members have strategic meetings and decide what we are going to do within our budget you also have the association represented.”

Police Association Chair Inspector Rudolph Gordon, who opened the day-long conference and seminar in Grand Cayman, pointed to the issues facing the membership. He said that stress was a common issue that officers had to deal with and the conference would help address this and other crucial issues. Gordon said that sometimes members of the public did not see officers as normal human beings.

“We grapple with and face the same issues that every person in the street that we meet does,” the association boss said “However, to maintain our image and to maintain the expectations of us we sometimes mask our feelings and the issues that we face and sometimes if not dealt with properly they can manifest themselves in ways we really don’t want to happen.”

He said that by nature as police officers their job was generally stressful and this could have very serious impacts on their personal lives, on colleagues, on the people they served and the quality of service that they provided to the members of the public and even their family members.

The training seminar produced by the Police Association,partnering with management would, he said, give officers additional tools in their arsenal so that they could be more effective in their service to the people of the Cayman Islands. The Police Association along with the Police Welfare Committee had an important role to play in the development of police officers, hence the development of the training seminar, which was held at Reliable Industry’s conference room.

Category: Local News

Comments (9)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Can you tell me what happen to the best policeman C-Brac ever had? I heard that have been release without reason. Can please explain what happen David Baines?

  2. Sun Never Sets says:

    What a wonderful job this man has done in the face of so much deep rooted criminality and corruption embedded in the local way of life. The lack of gratitude and the clamour for “jobs for the boys” is a disgrace.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Top Cop will you please give statistics to this Media, as to how many Caymanians are the Top Cop in all of Cayman Outstations including Cayman Brac & Little Cayman, and while you are at it please gives us statistics on how man Insp. Chief Inso.  Sgts. is Caymanians'

    I will be waiting to read your reply.  Thanks

  4. Libertarian says:

    If these chiefs only knew that a huge part of the stress on the indians, comes from their own incompetence and giving orders without any discretion and thought; moreover, the favoritism they show for some other incompetent officers. The good officers dirty their uniforms, risk their lives, whilst the others stay inside the station, dream about being sherlock, and shine their shoes. I am sure if these cheifs ever look at themselves in the mirror, they will see where the problem lies.

  5. noname says:

    How about providing psychotherapy on a monthly basis to the officers. All of them could use this service it would be very healthy for their development. Nothing stigmatizing about it, Cayman need to get in the mix of things and mature.

    The officers need to be debriefed psychologically in the presence of a psychotherapist.This will help shape their well rounded family life.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Thanks for your efforts.

    Now that the internal problems are being dealth with,

    I recomend to consider 8 hour shifts, anyone working a 12 hour shift

    will be very exhausted by the end and in the besty interest of ALL SAFETY.

    now a days all must be very alert for the problems we now face.

    being alert could keep you from harm and also improve your survalance.

    Best of luck,  God bless you all  and Cayman Islands

    • Anonymous says:

      Nurses and doctors work 12 hr shifts.  Should their hrs be changed to?  The concept of being tired remains the same….

      • Anonymous says:

        You can recommend it if you wish.

        However the police are in more danger of getting harmed.

      • jsftbhaedrg says:

        What about all professionals in other occupatons who work more than 8hrs a day, perhaps we should cut down on theirs too….seriously retarded logic.