MLAs unite over armed cops

| 24/06/2010

Cayman Islands News, Grand Cayman headline news(CNS): There has been very little unity among the country’s legislators recently but the perceived need for more armed police officers brought government and opposition MLAs together. The deputy commissioner was questioned intensely during Finance Committee about the number of armed officers on Grand Cayman and why there wasn’t one in each and every patrol car. Members also asked about attaching Uniform Support Group (USG) officers to the districts. Stephen Brougham told members that the USG teams did patrol island-wide, despite being based in George Town and could respond quickly to incidents in the districts.

Responding to questions from a number of members on both sides, the deputy commissioner, standing in for David Baines who he said was off island, confirmed that there were no plans to arm all officers. The issue brought considerable criticism and the independent member for North Side even threatened not to vote for the police allocation unless he could get firm assurances that armed patrols would be increased.
Currently, Brougham revealed, the RCIPS has as few as four armed officers patrolling the streets during each shift, although more could be called upon. He confirmed it was the commissioner’s policy that the USG remained centralised in George Town and would be deployed strategically based on intelligence. “With limited resources, we concentrate on the places where the crimes occur,” Brougham added.
Ezzard Miller said that four armed cops were nowhere near enough and left the eastern districts vulnerable to crime because the officers patrolling there were “armed with nothing but a cell phone and a baton”, and were forced to wait for USG if there was an incident involving guns. Referring to the recent armed robbery in Bodden Town where the officers who gave chase were not a USG unit, Miller said the criminals know the police are not armed and have no fear.  
The government’s own backbenchers also questioned the current USG policy and that of arming officers in general. They asked why there seemed to be limited numbers of armed officers when legislators had always voted whatever money the police had requested. Brougham said it was not financial resources but a matter of the number of trained firearms officers. He said the service was increasing its USG numbers as a new group was currently being trained.
Cline Glidden, MLA for West Bay, pointed out that the way the police tackled gun crime and the question of arming police had been discussed many times. The problem of MLAs taking the blame for crime when they did not have any say over the police was frustrating, Glidden told the committee. “We are held responsible but we are not able to influence a situation that is not working,” he added.
Bringing the discussion to a close, the premier, as chair of the committee, said that the constitution says it is the duty of the elected officials to vote the money for the police, which he did not vote for. He said the police had their opinion and the members had to take their advice. “I don’t know that we can do anything more,” McKeeva Bush said.
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  1. Anonymous says:

    That’s all we need. More incompetent police officers with guns facing down incompetent criminals with guns. Sounds like quite a few of our neighbouring countries. And look where that has got them. Guns are not the anwer, unless we all want to live in armed encampments. Surely we must have learnt this, if nothing much else.

    • Dennie Warren Jr. says:

      Firearms are not the only answer, but if you believe they are not a part of the answer, you’re very wrong.

  2. Anonymous says:

    give some guns to a bunch of incompetent cops……….great idea!!!!!!

  3. Anonymous says:

    More than armed officers, we need well educated ones to go into the schools and the community to teach our young people on the meaning of life. The parents aren’t doing it!

    • Legal says:

      you should paint your walls before you tell someone else how to paitn theirs

    • Anonymous says:

      We expect too much from the Police. When these latched key kids come out from prison there is no jobs for them, nobody wants tp hire them, they become frustrated and go back to the old way of living, smoking, pushing drugs, stealing, and the what have you to survive. Always remember that a hungry man is an angry man. I say cut the politician salary to half the amount and lets build a half way house for them and work with them until they are able to be rehabilitated. Oh, not to mention the body guard and the hotel accomodations there would then be enough money to help these poor youth.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Dear CNS,

    I apologize, in advance, as my question is not directly related to the subject at hand……

    CNS: The story is coming. Covering LA is a huge job for one person, especially since she covers everything else that goes on in Grand Cayman as well. Plus, Wendy has a work link student this week (which we are delighted about and she is doing very well).

  5. peter milburn says:

    Would be nice see them all agree on other JUST as important decisions for this country.Remember folks CAYMAN MUST come FIRST.

    • Anonymous says:

      I don’t get it! Why would the PPM agree with ANYTHING the UDP supports? Don’t they know that everything the UDP supports is abosolutely wrong? It is a simple job for the PPM; oppose everything the UDP supports! Support everything the UDP opposes. (AND NATURALLY THE UDP SHOULD HAVE THE SAME POSITION SINCE NEITHER OF THESE PARTIES ARE WORTHY OF LEADERSHIP). 

      Don’t our leaders understand that MORE GUNS is not a soultion-it is only a RESULT! The result of not getting matters/security under control sooner? The solution needs to be more deliberate and be given more deliberation. Starting with a law similar to that enacted by sensible people in Arizona where the police can stop and require identification from each and every citizen/resident? I have no problem with identifying myself to the police since I am a born Caymanian of >50 with a clean police record.

      • Dennie Warren Jr. says:

        Now that is what we really need – more talk… Sigh (while shaking my head)!

      • Jon says:


        Get out of the party politics thinking mentality!  This polarization between "us" and "them" is what is going to ruin Cayman!  No matter how much bright ideas the UDP come up with, your going to have ignorant people who will oppose it just because they are on PPM side. All I can say is – 

        That is foolish, dumb, and rediculously ignorant!!!

  6. Jon says:

    Of course, they need more than one USG unit for the entire Island: 

    One for the Eastern districts

    One for West Bay

    One for George Town

    and YES… they need one for Cayman Brac…

    And these officers need to be trained and be able to remain calm and controlled during emotionally disturbed moments from the public. So I believe they should take some kind of psychological testing and a good history review before being assigned such powers. 

    These are my recommendations

    • Kingstonian says:

      Good, Caymanian police need to be trained an well armed, people here is getting too bad now

      • Anonymous says:

        But Kingstonian dont you all complain that the Police over there shoot people down like dogs?

        • Jon says:

          Because they are not trained and properly tested before a gun is handed over to them. Anyone who has a high degree of stress in life or has that potential of hightened stress which the evaluators think they would not be able to manage or cope – SHOULD NOT HAVE A FIREARM!


    • ANGEL says:

      the government should have had put more officers with firearms long time ago and cayman would not be in the position we are today, and yes i agree that the government should also give business owners that fits our criteria some kind of protection for them selves and their business in our country.