Cops criticize commissioner

| 31/08/2010

(CNS): The Police Association has publicly criticized Commissioner David Baines regarding comments he made about basic literacy training for police officers. The association suggested that the rank and file could have been further demoralised by what Baines said at a public meeting in West Bay, which was reported on CNS. Inspector Gordon, the group’s chairman, stated that this could have put further strain on an already strained relationship between management and the ranks. The group, which represents the interests of police officers, has complained about problems with training and believes it is mismanagement of cash that has caused the problems.(Photo Dennie WarrenJr)

For many years, Gordon said, the association had raised concerns with respect to training and development with the various commissioners, and some of the major failings of the RCIPS regarding training were as a result of money not being properly managed.
During the recent round of the public police meetings Baines revealed that there had been various complaints about the competency of his officers including their levels of basic literacy. He said people had complained that they could not take statements because they could not spell and they were lacking in various customer service skills. He said that, as a result, the RCIPS had now teamed up with the UCCI to address those problems.
He also announced a number of other training initiatives, including exchange programmes and an accelerated scheme for young Caymanian officers with exceptional potential, all of which were aimed at professionalising the service.
Gordon, however, said the UCCI course was geared towards further strengthening the twelve weeks police training programme offered to new recruits. He said the initiative at UCCI is for an additional twenty-four weeks to enhance and support the development of these officers, and he refuted the implication by Baines that it was a basic literacy programme for serving officers.
He said that graduates from the February 2009 police training class had completed their programme on 18 August this year and indicatedthat they, along with other serving officers, held diverse, academic and professional qualifications.
“Out of the twelve recruits in this class, six have academic competencies ranging from an associates degree to accountancy,” Gordon said. “The RCIPS has some highly skilled officers with various types of professional qualifications, such as LLB in law, business, engineering and other professional fields. A significant number of officers have taken personal responsibility for their development and are utilising the Civil Service College (CSC) and UCCI programmes.” 
He said that following the concerns over training and development, which had been raised with successive commissioners, the association had come to the conclusion that some of the major failings of the RCIPS with regards to training and development in an effort to professionalise the service are as a result of the allocated funds not being managed effectively.
“The Police Association is committed to working with management to strengthen the already strained relationship between labour and management but comments like the ones made by the commissioner at this recent meeting were left to one’s own interpretation at the risk of further demoralising the already hard working and dedicated officers that serve these islands,” Gordon said in a statement released to the media on Monday afternoon.
Gordon added that he applauded the commissioner’s efforts in trying to identify and improve the organization through his training initiatives and officers would benefit greatly from the exchange programme, when it started, with the exposure and training in other jurisdictions.
The objective of the accelerated scheme to attract and retaining qualified Caymanians was important, he said, but cautioned that if not managed properly “the laudable intentions will be placed at risk.” 
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  1. Mr. Logic says:

    there is a saying that "loose tongues sink ships". this would seem to be the case here. had the cops just gone ahead and did what they had to do in the background whether that be collaborating with ICCI or UCCI or whatever other educational programmes out there to enhance officers skills [whatever those skills are], this never would have  been a public issue. what has happened here is that one simple statement that perhaps meant no harm or intended to not  degrade his officers has now created animosity between the commissioner and the very people that work for him. this is not good for any organisation if you want to get the best out of people. remember it is always the people that makes an organisation/business successful and this is built on solid leadership. all this will likely do is put steam back in the criminals at a time when it looks like the police are getting a handle on things.

  2. Anonymous says:

    To all you guys/gals who are anti-police and pro Baines i have  a good  idea. On the next occasion the RCIPS needs help in solving crime please volunteer and see how difficult it is to please people like yourselves. Don’t bother to call on the alleged poor illiterate police.  Their jobs have just been made harder by the commander in chief. Call Mr. Baines directly, he is the only sensible one among them.  Thank God for his arrival !  

    • Voice of Reason says:

       As mentioned previously, it is difficult to make evidence stick when the evidence itself, as reported by the officer,  doesn’t make sense or is ambiguous to the extent it could be interpreted to the benefit of the accused.

      If you are in favour of justice then you must be in favour of literacy.

      Unless you have another agenda?


  3. Anonymous says:

    Prison Officers are in the same sinking boat as Ploice Officers in regards to educational skills

  4. Bill W says:

    Take it from someone who is overseas outside looking in.

    No one cares about your illiterate cops. The only people it effects are you people living on that rock.

    • Anonymous says:

      So why are you bothering to comment at all?  Get on with your own business then, simple!

  5. Anonymous says:

    For as long as I can recall, the Comissioner has been telling the public that the RCIPS needs to be professionalized and new recruits must have ahigher standard of education. So why is the Police Association bringing this up now? They obviously have an agenda that is in their best  interest and not in the best interest of the public. I attended one of the public meetings and when a member of the audience stated that the majority of police officers are uneducated, the Comissioner was quick to refute this and defended his officers while acknowledging that there is some dead wood amongst the service.

    Inspector Gordon is obviously trying to cast the Commissoner in a bad light but from the comments on this blog  it is clear that the public want a better educated and professional force. Then maybe we can solve some of these crimes.


  6. Transplanted soil with deep roots says:

    OK let’s put all of this into perspective, shall we? The police are not hired to write novels or teach 3rd grade English. They are hired to keep our streets crime free, catch suspects / criminals, attend accidents, patrol the islands and generally provide an authoritative presence to deter crime etc. Expecting them to have a Masters degree in the English language, phonetics, spelling, what have you, is quite a stretch and does not appear to be the concern here.

    It takes a certain type of person to want to be a police officer in the first place and I’m sure a little research into their academic career will not show them nominated as valedictorians. No offense to the RCIPS intended! But truth be told, it is not a job for the ambitious Wall Street types. I am not so sure that I would choose a brainiac to protect my home over a brawny (perhaps illiterate) titan. Bill Gates vs Arnold Schwarzenegger so to speak!
    That said, I am in TOTAL agreement with the Commissioner’s stance and anyone who has the island’s best interests at heart should be too. Why is it wrong to expect the best of your staff? He is not trying to demoralise them or publicly humiliate them…he isoffering them opportunities to better themselves. He was addressing PUBLIC concerns from real people who VOICED THEIR PUBLIC CONCERNS. What was he supposed to do?
    Jane Public: Commissioner, what say you about the problem with your officers not being able to read and write well enough to pen a legible report?
    Baines: Thank you for your question ma’am! My what a pretty dress you have on! Next question please.
    Imagine the backlash from that! Instead he confronted the issue head on – ackowledged the problem (about which he surely already knew!) and offered hope by saying that it was being addressed with the help of UCCI.
    Cayman you wanted transparency…there it is! The highest level of office in the police force just pulled back the curtain and showed you some warts. Then, the chairman of the association for those people with warts tried to pull the curtain back over the dirty little secret (which ain’t so secret!) in an effort to "cover up" the facts.
    So what! They can’t read and write so well! It’s not terminal!! Get some night classes and badda-bing, badda-boom, they’re all better now!
    Gordon’s immediate and ill-advised reaction to this was more fuel for the fire of cover-ups, corruption and general smoke screens that the RCIPS is already thought to employ with anything that makes them look bad.
    We KNOW they are not perfect, but for Heaven’s sake, do not make it worse by saying something isn’t so…when it most blatantly is! This is a condition that you cannot hide Mr Gordon and all you have succeeded in doing is to encourage those of us who have seen it first hand to step forward and say so.
    Mr Baines is obviously trying to make peace with the public who are sick and tired of a corrupt and useless force. He is uncovering the long hidden icky stuff and letting us all see that he’s ATTEMPTING to make a difference. What should he care? This is just a job for him – after his time he will return home and get on with his life – – – like so many commissioners before him! So why waste his time with trying to fix a broken system and repair some bad English? Maybe he actually feels that he has a job to do and that he is not here to win a popularity contest!
    So everybody needs to shut up and let the man do his job. He can’t be any worse than what we’ve had before! So far his efforts seem genuine and I know for a fact that he has taken certain suggestions onboard and followed through with them – for the benefit of the force and ultimately the public. Suggestions made by a Caymanian civilian no less!
    As for the Police Association – my advice would be to reconsider how far you will go to protect your members from themselves. It is understandable that you must protest in the face of crticism, but at least consider what is being said and review the situation fully before blasting the messenger. It’s great that you have a few with diverse qualifications but obviously there are some that have none – not even the basics. Be a dear, and address that will ya please, thanks!
    I did not perceive Mr Baines’ comments as an attempt to paint the entire force with one brush…therefore Mr Gordon cannot categorically deny the relevance of the statements on the RCIPS.
    The road to recovery is long for the RCIPS and as everyone knows, the best way to healing is to stop living in denial, admit you have a problem and seek help.





    • Bloody Mary says:

      This is similar to a previous article where it also received a backlash of negative comments from certain posters when a study found out that Cayman kids are lazy.

      They said they’re not lazy – just unmotivated or  inactive or whatever -but not lazy.

      As the song goes, " Call me sweetheart, call me  honey, call me darling, but don’t call me by my first name."

      Truth really hurts.

  7. Elad Nella says:

    The issue of illiterate police officers is not a new problem for the RCIP! why do you think there are so much unsloved crimes and so much hastily arrest of individuals that are later release without charge.

  8. Anonymous says:

    At 10:40 am.

    Please look in a dictionary to find out how to spell " modern" and "recruit’. You got nerve talking about people with less than average I.Q.!!! Maybe you should apply for a job there if that is the case.

    • Anon. female says:

      Re: At 10:40- umm… before you throw stones- proofread your own words- should be "you’ve got nerve"… i’m just sayin’….

  9. Anonymous says:

     the police officers are very uneducated. I was taking my driver’s test and the police officer talked on the phone the whole time. He paid no attention to what I was doing! I could’ve been driving on the wrong side of the road and he wouldn’t have noticed.

    • Anonymous says:

      LOL!! The police do not administer driving test, it is the Vehicle Licencing Dept that does that.  And you thought it was the police testing you.  If you don’t even know who is testing you, who knows what side of the road you drive on?  LOL!!!

      • Anonymous says:

         Who goes out with you when you are doing a driving test?  In Cayman Brac, it’s the police.  Don’t know about Grand Cayman.

  10. Anonymous says:

    The RCIPS is always ‘appealing’ for witnesses to come forward, but if you go to the police station you are met by a 300lb woman who obviously hates her job and treats you like you are interrupting her day.

    Baines needs to include manners in his statements too.

    • The street says:

      the 300lb women are your own Caymanian women who work at the front desk. They are not police officers you are wrong again! This tells how much you know about your own Caymanian Government affairs. They are communication officers and are civillians , i mean if you know the difference

      • Anon says:

        Whether the 300 lb lady is a police officer or not, there is such a thing as common courtesy when one works with the general public. She is after all the "face of the force" and should at all times be friendly and prompt in her dealings with anyone who stops by to report anything.

        The Civil Service in general need a crash course in "customer service". You are not doing the public a favour, you are doing your job….so do it with a smile on your face. 

        • Anonymouse says:

          When I moved here in 1980 there was a 300 lb female telephone operator working for Cable and Wireless. I dont know what became of her but she was the most polite Lady I have met since coming here.

          The moral of my story is, not all 300 lb females are impolite.

          • Anonymous says:

            I dont see where the writer says that all 300lb women are impolite.  The writer is concerned about image on the front line.  A 300lb unfriendly women is not a good image.  The weight and the unfriendliness in this case have a connection.  The writer at no time states this is a universal association.

      • Anonymous says:

        So are you saying that the womam who WEARS A POLICE UNIFORM is not a cop and that is a valid excuse for her bad manners?

        As a member of the public going to the police station to make a statement and report a crime I expect to be treated with courtesy and manners.

        I have to wait for her to get off the phone and then make my statement through a hole in the glass in front of a line of people giving all kinds of personal information within earshot of the public.

        I am made to feel that I am some sort of criminal!

      • Anonymous says:

        I’m ‘wrong again’? Where was I wrong the previous time?

    • Anonymous says:

       Since there are sooooo many of us on here who know soooo much…..where is the email tip line???

      Really, even our teenagers can text so where is the anonymous text and email line???

      Residents here (all of us) are on their phones ALL DAY and some witness the crimes.  Are you going to the police station?

      Let’s make it easier to report crime.

      Hello LIME and Digicel….here is your NEW PR advertisement.  Tell us your 24/7 free text # for reporting crime.

      RCIPS what is your anonymous email address?



  11. Peter Simple says:

      I know that the world  over there are many incompetent cops this is not peculiar to Cayman but lets admit it Baines hit the nail on the head!

    Here are some of my experiences:

    Intruders broke into our church, I reported it at great length and gave the police a shirt they left behind but I have heard nothing more since then.

    I parked on the side of the road just outside the main area of George Town there was no yellow line no NO PARKING sign but I was nailed by what looked to be a new recruit, if his uniform was any indication. I netted a $25.00 fine plus a lot of elbow grease to get the glue off my windscreen from the sticky envelope holding my ticket.I paid the fine, who has the time to go to court for $25.00.

    I drove down the other morning from the East End of the island behind a Suzuki police car which  went through at least 4 or more round abouts without once using his/her indicator!

    I am not complaining about these incidents, rather using them as examples to ask the question, "How can we have respect for law enforcement officers of this caliber?"




  12. Anonymous says:

    They didn’t need Baines to do it – most of the police officers are walking talking advertisements of the fact that many of our police are illiterate – most of us knew this long before Baines said anything.  The RCIPS are more than capable of demoralising themselves by their own actions – words are not needed at all.

    Truth hurts eh?

  13. My2cents says:

    Q. Why do police officers go round in pairs?

    A. one can read, and the other can write.

    When you can do both you get to be a sergent.


  14. Anonymous says:

    Its a well known fact the the mordern day recrouting done by Police is aimed toward people of less than average I.Q. 

    • Anonymous says:

      Clearly you were targeted. lol.

    • officer Dibble says:

      You are just what we are looking for. Please send in your CV.

    • Anonymous says:

      Is that because CIG makes them hire relatives?

    • Dick Shaughneary says:

      And are you speaking from personal experience of the "mordern" "recroutment" market?


    • Anonymous says:

      Given your posted comments, is it safe to assume that you’re one of the many Officers Baines is referring to?

    • Anonymous says:

      I didn’t know that. 

    • here we go again says:

      Go learn to spell before you cast assertion on police officers!

      • Anonymous says:

        There’s an awful lot of people on here who seem to be proving the Commissioner’s point for him. ‘Go learn to spell before you cast assertion on police officers!’ I believe what you intended to mean was ‘Go learn to spell before you cast aspersions on police officers!’. The words may sound kind of similar, but mean very different things. Another prime example of how a QC could take a statement from someone with an at best loose grasp of the english language, and tear it to pieces.

      • Anonymous says:

        It’s "aspersions" not "assertion", Bozo.

        • The street says:

          06:36 09/01 /2010. You are a master of the English Language. differences between "Assertion" and "Aspersions". Now Bozo #2, ‘"ASSERTION"  means:, (1)  a positive statement ie saying something or(2)  the act of asserting. Get it?

          "ASPERSION": "to make a disparaging or malicious remark about……."

          If I wanted to use the word "malicious" I would have used  it Bozo.


          Sometimes the people who appear to be "fussy" about the reading and writing of the English are themselves  " shallow" in that art.

      • Anonymous says:

        I guess I proved my point…I’m a police officer here in Cayman

  15. Anonymous says:

    Instead of airing their dirty laundry in public, I would suggest that the Police Commissioner and the Police Association get together and encourge the educationally challenged amongst them to go into politics instead.

    I think we can all agree that the barely literate have done exceptionally well in Cayman politics.

  16. Old Tired Citizen says:

    Well the Commissioner acknowledges the short comings of the Force, but unfortunately the Police Association blames bad management for officers, who were previously cleaners, window washers, construction workers and who knows what else, for not being able to read and write. XXXXXX
    I am reminded of an incident where the Police requested me to give a statement. The officer came to my office and after half an hour he had written a paragraph in his own hand writing. I realized it would take a very long time to complete my statement if he had to write what I was dictating, so I told him I would give him a typed and signed statement. I typed it and gave it to him. The next day he was back and said that his Inspector wanted the statement on a special form and the officer insisted that he write it out for me to sign. I told him no way and he must go back to his boss with my typed statement. He refused left the statement with me. A few months later I received a Summons to attend Court on this matter. Before the case began the lady Prosecutor sought me out of audience, took me into an office and asked why I refused to provide a statement on the matter. I pulled out thestatement I had prepared months earlier and gave it to her. She read it and exclaimed, “This is perfect! Why did the Police not accept this?” I am led to believe some Inspectors really need to move on.


    • Man says:

      Old Tired Citizen ya miss da point! Da man kant read typed words! Too many right spelled words!

       Old Tired Citizen you miss the point! The inspector was unable to read a statement without misspelled words!


  17. Joe Bananas says:

      All this proves is that no one can train the untrainable, educate the ignorant, and make moral those who still cannot see a reason for it.  Plant a peach seed and what do you get? (hint: not apples)  If you want a peach tree you must start out with a peach seed.  I know not everyone that is having this read to you will get that. Baines you are doing the best you can with what you are given. I am amazed that innocent people are not shot by some of your  police (but they are being run over for now).  The uneducated, but self proclaimed geniuses that are a big part of the islands infrastructure are Grand Caymans biggest obstacle to being a functional country.

    • Voice of Reason says:

       What "seeds" do we currently have planted in the Cayman Islands’ school system?

      Is it gansta-ranius horificus?

      • Anonymous says:

        Well I’ve seen some obesativafollowus, and futurista criminalis, and a few  Ilikabelikabushas in the crowd.  but standing tall and looking lost there are a few respectatruthas planted in there.

  18. Anonymous says:

    I have known ‘rank and file’ police officers who get extremely frustrated by colleagues who are not up to it, in literacy and other areas. I would have thought this is the sort of thing the Police Association would be supporting the commissioner on – getting qualified, trained, lierate officers with common sense. Wouldn’t that benefit the many good officers still in the service?

  19. whodatis says:

    No one can argue that Baines’ comments do not carry some degree of truth.

    Although the situation has much improved in recent years, we now have some long serving ignorant, uneducated and a few steps from "slowmanship" (politically incorrect?) officers within the force.

    No question about it.

    In my opinion some of these fellas and women – (Oooh … flashback of a personal incident including a particular Caymanian female officer – wow!) – should have never been allowed to hold the position of an officer of the law.

    Let us be honest people, years ago it was a great source of national entertainment to see some of the new RCIPS recruits in uniform – am I lying?

    Sadly our criminal element has outpaced the expertise, professionalism and standards of a significant portion of our RCIPS.

    (Perhaps the situation is now one where the better suited officers rise throughout the ranks and the less suited ones remain on the "bottom" – so to speak. Meaning they (the less suited) are the officers that have the first point of contact with the people / victims / offenders. If this is in fact the case then it is not much of a mystery why the RCIPS has its negative reputation today. For any police force to be successful competence is necessary from top to bottom.)

    Therefore, here we are – suffering as a result.

    Yet another overlook and short-sighted approach by way of previous governments and leadership in the glorious Cayman Islands.

    Then again, to be fair I guess 20 years ago no one would have ever imagined that Cayman would be heading along the path that it is now – back then it didn’t really matter much who we allowed to sport a police uniform.

    Sadly, times have drastically changed.

    *Regardless, I am still against the notion of importing a police team from a country such as the UK – mainly because this is blatantly contradictory to their own employed tactics and policies in regards to cultural and societal unfamiliarity in regards to policing a community.

    Either their own research and findings are useless pieces of paper or Caymanians as apeople is not of much importance in their eyes.

    There is too much of a gap between (not to mention a bad history) the typical young Caymanian offender and a British cop – not much understanding and even less trust!

    Germany just recruited a team of Turkish police officers to assist in their problem spots in Cologne – the city has a very dense Turkish immigrant population.

    Therefore, perhaps there is a chance of taking a more reasonable and respectable approach to what appears to be up the pipeline?

    • anonymous says:

      If RCIP has a literacy problem then no wonder we can not get these crimes solved!

      This can only mean that we have an intelligence issue!

      Solving crimes calls for education and exchange of intelligence data!

      God help us all!

  20. Anonymous says:

    I have friends in RCIPs. I know the majority to be quite brilliant but, like any organization there will be the few that don;t quite fit in. Mr. Baines didn’t quite seem too smart either or in control  as one would expect the commissioner to be. It was evident the lack of compassion he has for  his officers..  maybe it time for the government take a closer look at exactly what they fund in the RCIPs and how it’s spent.  wise-up guys the association can’t tell us everything that is wrong with the RCIPs

  21. Anonymous says:

    some of these blogs seems to favor the commissioner’s disrespectful comments regarding the  made about the officers. let us wait and see the results four years from today when he is gone and the another commisssioner replaces him. we as an island  know it was not the lack of litracy skills that cost this country 1,5 million in the law suit settlement, 1 year’s salary for the required leave Deputy commissioner, a huge disgrace on the governor and ex-commissioner Kernohan. this country can’t learn yet, it’s all about finding fault but not fixing any problems. it’s about keeping the door revolving for their convenience.  let recognize the RCIPS has it own training unit, if  officers were hired litracy weakness fix it there not sind them on the streets to do thejob without the skills. it show their tought process in RCIPS. i support the Police Association in defending the true position, there no one who should know the problems better than them,  

    • Voice of Reason says:

       Why is it that the majority of the responses posted in favour of the Police Association seem to be so badly written?

      The case for the defence is going to struggle if this is the case; in the same way that police prosecutions against offenders are going to struggle if the officers involved are not capable of accurately and correctly documenting the case for the prosecution. 

      As said before, the case for the defence of the Police Association is a complete non-starter.

  22. Anonymouse says:

    Wonder if the Commisioner would specify what percentage of the illiterate officers are Caymanian and what percentage are foreigners. If there are illiterate foreign officers on the force then they should be immediately terminated. We should not be spending money on illiterate foreign officers particularly if they become offended when the Commisioner seeks to expose this problem.

    • Pauly Cicero says:

      Why not terminate all of the illiterate officers?

      • Anonymous says:

        Then who would take a statement….:)

        • Anonymous says:

          You replace them with literate police officers who are competant and professional. If persons with these qualifications cannot be found from withing the Caymanian population, then import them from overseas.

          Police officers must have high standards of education, literacy, training, toughness and, above all, compassion. You cannot lower the standards and then expect good outcomes.

          The commissioner is on the right track. He is giving the high quality officers advanced training so that they can become tomorrow’s leaders. He is also giving the lower quality officers a chance to "come up to speed". This is a reasonable approach.

          If a few of the under-performing officers are a bit embarassed, then they should get off their duffs and improve themselves. The commissioner is "cutting them some slack" and is, ultimately, on their side in giving them the opportunity to improve themselves.

          • Anonymous says:

            Nothing like replying to a light hearted comment and stating the obvious.

          • Rorschach says:

            umm, yeah, they tried that…they brought in quite a number of qualified officers from the UK over many years, and I can GUARANTEE that at some point EVERY ONE of them heard, " Why unna Limeys come to MY country and wanna tell me wat do??  Unna need go bak Ingland!!"…

              sooo, I would say until the general population of Cayman is REALLY ready to accept overseas police officers…"da wa ya get"…

    • The Street says:

      Any suggestion that officers recruited over seas are illiterate must be a a misrepresentation of the true facts.. The Commissioner , the HR manager and the officer in charge of training should be blamed for that. The latter two are the people thattravel overseas to interview these applicants. They should have properly screen these applicants. If any illiterates dropped through the cracks, the blame should have been laid at their feet. I find some of these statements self-serving as an excuses to bring in Officers from the UK

  23. Anonymous says:

    RCIPS needs to implement minimum educational and intelligence levels for those applying to be officers.  At the moment, (from the application form) there is no requirement for ‘O’levels or completion of high school.  We know there are some excellent officers.  Unfortunately, they cannot carry those who are not so good.  If you can’t read and write fluently, then you cannot uphold the law.  It is good that the  Commissioner is trying to identify where the police force is going wrong and training abroad is an excellent idea. 

  24. Anonymous says:

     Hello,  there was an individual in training, who, when asked what he learnt during training, his reply was, "me learn to arrest the prison".   If the locals, (Caymanians) were employed they would know that they had learned how to arrest the prisoner.   Have a great day training.  They are our recruits/officers.

  25. Anonymous says:

    This is all well and good to be upset at Baines for saying what he sees as a problem. One only has to look at the convictions that are not secured even though arrests are made daily and our current crime rate to see we are not dealing with a Service made up of quality, intelligent people who are mentally equiped for the current tasks. However if Baines’ is correct in stating that the men in his charge are unable to read and write at an acceaptable level and are not capable of carrying a firearm as they may hurt themselves or another citizen then no amount of flying and spending more money  on training will help this problem. You cannot turn hamburger into steak.  So I would just flush this idea down the toilet and save the country some money once again. These guys can still at least drive around Cayman and get the same job done without a futher waste of funds.

    The problem lies deeper then this though. The Senior officers that are charged with the leadership of the RCIP, the "Gold Command" are bordering useless as a Law Enforcement body.  Crime is out of control. You are at risk of becoming a victim. And all they have for an answer is more community Police Constables, unarm the service and the citizenship, take the A/C out of the cars and light your property up like it is Christmans – people when this is leading a large percentage of people that do not have basic life skills, you do not really have an agency that is able to execute the duties it has been enpowered to. The criminals are armed, and seem to have more critical thinking skills as Dr White has pointed out – how come the RCIP is being ran circles by them? According to Dr. White the criminals are rational, listening over and over again to what the RCIP is saying is not.  When people approach the Gold Command, Baines, and are asking why crime is the way it is, his answer is pretty much look at what I have to work with! We will try and do better. When I ask will this happen?  I think the country has given him enough to time to get the job done. He is a champion of excuses and diverts attention from the real issue which is that it all stops at him. He is in charge. I for one am tired of the all of the promises  as they are empty,


  26. Jay says:

    I agree with the Commissioner but the problem does not stop in the police service check literacy levels within Customs and the Immigration Departments.

    • Anonymous says:

      Correction – check literacy in all government departments and MLA’s

    • Anonymouse says:

      It is a well known fact that the Cayman Government takes care of our illiterates and places them in employment rather than have them rome the streets as discards from our society. Many end up in the civil service and are given responsible positions that they obviously are not capable of handling. That is not a fault of the government but rather the fault of the senior officers in the CS who are entrusted to put these people to productive use. Unfortunately many of the senior CS are familyor friends of the family of the illiterate persons and therefore place them in positions for which they are unsuitable.

      Just remember that all of us were illiterate until we learned to read and write. The fact that some dont learn to comprehend properly is mostly due to the fact that those who are supposed to make us literate and either lazy or grossly illiterate themselves. It takes education to make someone literate and no matter your age, you are never too old to learn. We should not need to import someone to identify those illiterate among us. It is easy enough to recognise.

  27. Anonymous says:

    Fantastic….the Police Association in an ill-considered attempt to score points over the Commish have just scored an own GGOOOOAAALLLL!

    Way to go Mr Gordon !

    Consider this – why don’t you work with Baines instead of against him. What he was reported to have said is absolutely right ; people all over the islands can verify that.

  28. Anonymous says:

    looks like the truth hurts for the police association……

  29. Anonymous says:

    The Commissioner has hit the nail on the head.  How can he train them further in police strategies, tactics and the law when their basic literacy skills are below standard?  Many in the lower ranks have problems spelling, constructing sentences, comprehension etc and if one has problems with those, it makes it difficult to train them further.  There are some officers who just don’t want to take a statement because they are scared to hell of writing and it takes them forever to do.  The Police Association should support the Commissioner in his endeavours to improve the skills of the officers presently in the Service.  I would suggest that he take it one step further and set a minimum standard of education for all who wish to join from this point on and then set a minimum standard for those who wish to reach middle management and an even higher standard for those who wish to reach top management.  Only then will we get a more professional and competent Police Service.  Go ahead Commissioner Baines.  We all know they need an improved education and there will be opposition from those who are scared of exposing their weaknesses, but the RCIP cannot get any better if it remains stuck in the rut.  Set the standards and who can’t make it, they know they have no one but themselves to blame.  No more easy rides andkeep the politicians out of this.

  30. An observer says:

    If basic literacy is a problem why all the past Commissioners of police did not address the subject before now. What is the present Commissioners implying? Is this the majority of police officers in the RCIP? What the Commissioner did is to make a broad brush statement about the local officers.Give credence whree credence belong, rather than making it appears that most officers are semi-literate or illiterate.It seems  according to the Inspector, that some officers have areasonable standard of education. Is there a basic test in math and English skills? If so did the officers in the service passed this test?. Did anyone even bothered to revamp the tests and update them or set a sealing of basic three subjects in O level/CXC examination inclusive of math English and a Science Subject? Are the qualified Caymanians being attracted to the Service? If not, why not? In the Long run It will be the Caymanian Officers who will be policing these Islands so it seems that some long term plans will have to be put in place for the future. The answer is not to demoralize the members of the service but to work out a long term plan to remedy the present problems.

  31. Richard Wadd says:

     This is the TYPICAL sort of reaction that one would expect from ‘Ignorant, Under-educated, or UN-EDUCATABLE  (sic) persons, and not the People who are charged with Enforcing and Upholding the Laws of these Islands.

     But then again, IF one can’t Read and Write, how can one be expected to COMPREHEND the very Laws one is charged with upholding?

     Here was an opportunity to EMBRACE what Baines is offering, for the BETTERMENT of their lives, instead, they have displayed how IGNORANT they really are. 

    We need to do away with the ‘Small Island Politics’ that has given rise to this sort of problem, and FIX a MINIMUM Level of Standards for Employment in ALL Civil Service Sectors and Positions, and have Evaluation Reviews on ALL Civil Servants on a regular basis, just as it is done in the Private Sector.

    Those that are already in the system, have had plenty of time and opportunity to take advantage of their footing, and bring their level of Education ‘up to standard’. 

    Educate the Best, FIRE the rest !!

    BTW, what level of Education is required to earn a CI$19,000.00 per month Salary in the Govt.?

    • Anonymous says:

      This problem doesn’t only stem from local recruits. Rejects from other places have been hired by the RCIP because of their inability to obtain employment elsewhere.

    • Anonymous says:

      I think your view of the officers statement is miss understood. I think the COP’s statement was the preverbial straw that broke the camel back and thus the response. The COP’s statment did not specifi and generalised, incorrectly, all officers as uneducated. Just because the COP’s comment were accurate when it comes to many officers does not mean the the officers statement regarding missmanagement and poor prioritisation with funding, is not accurate.

      This COP has ignored advice of seneor, qualified, officers with years of operational experience in this country. As someone who had no experience operating in our country one would have thought he would have not dismissed their input. Insted his answer has been to bring in even more officers from the UK who have no experience in our culture. As we have seen his policies have not reduced the violent crime as it has if fact gotten worse. His policies and statments have unfairly given all officers a bad name and made them a laughing stock. So I think the have every right to be upset. with him passing blame for the failure of his policies and management off on the, they have every right to speak up to defend themselves.

      What is materialising is the rift between managment and officers on the street. It shows the quality of the management (or lack there of) when the buck does not stop here but gets passed on, generalising all officers with the shortcomings of some.

      • Anonymous says:

        Q:  Are you in the force?

        • Anonymous says:

          No, just an honest, impartial observation. A citizen that is tired of the PASS THE BUCK mentality. We all know that many of the rank and file officers are quite frankly incapable, however so is management and the COP based on their policies and performance.

    • Dick Shaughneary says:

      Is this someone posing as Mr. Wadd or has he caught a brain eating disease that has caused him to descend into the childish world of UNNECESSARY CAPITALISATION and the random use of Capitals at the Beginning of select Nouns?  It is ironic that this post criticises the literacy of others but is written in the style of someone who could do with some adult education themselves.



    • Pending says:

      For CI$19,000 per month you need;


      1) A Doctorate in Greed

      2) A Masters in Me, Me, Me

      3) Another Masters in Everyone Can Pay My Bills

      4) Another Doctorate in Extravagant Travel while the Country is Broke

      5) Another Masters in Let Everyone Suffer while I Live the Good Life at   their  Expense, and I dont care.

      So as you can see you have to be very qualified to sit on your arse, do nothing and fill their pockets  with anything and everything they can get.

      Polititrix 101.

  32. Anonymous says:

    I can attest to their lack of literacy as I’ve personally seen some of their reports. We have hired some real rejects from other places and it’s a shame! Not sure how or if they even graduated from high school!

    • Anonymous says:

      They should be qualified whenever applying for jobs. Its a shame that Government have to spend money to educate them. I remember having to deal with one on a report  just a few years back, and I WAS SO SUPRISED TO SEE THAT THAT PERSON COULD NOT SPELL. Common sense also goes far in being a cop, one should always be on the out look for signs of these criminals. I dont have the authority to stop my car and ask questions, but every day I see alot of strange signs while on the road. A cops job is not easy and the more training the better the Cop. However when applying for a job one should have a very good basic education.

    • Pending says:

      Thereis also a person exactly like that in charge of this country.

  33. Anonymous says:

    Teh Plice Assocation Execitive Comittee shuold takesome time out and reveiw some of the statements and repports that it’s member oficers right. Then they would see that litracy skills is nessarray. Purhaps if they had to sit for two ours to give a simpul one-page statement they might appreshiate what teh Comishner is doing.

  34. Anonymous says:

    Kudos to Commissioner Baines for acknowledging and addressing one of the fundamental problems facing the RCIPS as a whole, as a result of the shortcomings of some of its officers. The fact that the Police Association objects to the Commissioner’s candor in this matter suggests that the PA as a whole fails to recognize the deficencies of some of its members. Failure to acknowledge and accept the obvious is a sure sign of unwillingness to change. The Police Association should henceforth never complain if things do not get better within the RCIPS.   

  35. Anonymous says:

    The Commissioner’s remarks regarding "basic literacy" and the personnel in the RCIP were, to my way of thinking, rather ill-considered, and a bit over the top tell you (nothing but) the truth. A clash of cultures? Are we to believe that an individual from one culture can transition to another somehow automatically? Amazing. I’m not talking about ignoring reality but being considered in one’s remarks, and being sensitive to the feelings of others, in particular given the circumstances with the RCIP of late. Surely the most literate of police officer’s would have felt slighted by such remarks. I would. Am I off the mark here? And this stuff about officers seeming to be "not very intelligent". Blimey, what exactly is that all about? Mr. Baines, please, you are not in the UK now – this is a different culture, and not one that tolerates deficiences any less than your own, lest you might hurry towards that convenient conclusion. But what might be acceptable "language" in the UK is not necessarily so here. We don’t fire nurses for offering to pray for patients, or forbid persons wearing crosses in their work places, for example. Please remember the language of diplomacy and temper your future comments accordingly. (By the way, you’re doing a stupendous job!)

    • Voice of Reason says:

      Yes…… right……..

      Poor literacy is a cultural thing? 

      Wow, what a fantastic sentiment. Well done.

    • Anonymous says:

      poor literacy and understanding of what is being said when taking statements (cultural or not) loses trials.

  36. Anonymous says:

    I support the association in clarifying the true position. it was evident that there must be some significant human resource problems in that organization because of the lack of control the commisssioner made it appear he have in this said referanced article. As ex-cop i felt demoralized by his comments too   

    • Voice of Reason says:

       I support the association in clarifying the true position. IT was evident that there must be some significant human resource problems in THE organization because of the lack of control the COMMISSIONER made it appear (MADE IT APPEAR?!?!?!?) he have (HAS) in this said (THE)  referanced (REFERENCED) article. As (AN) ex-cop i (I) felt demoralized by his comments too (.)


      Literacy problem? What literacy problem? English is clearly a second language for many officers. Who knows what their first language is…… 

    • Anonymous says:

      If you are writing ‘as an ex-cop’ I feel you have just proven the Commissioner correct in everything he was saying. Poor grammar, syntax, punctuation and spelling make the end of your comment almost unintelligible. What would a QC make of a written statement from you? The Association want to get real – they must be the only people within a 1000 miles who don’t think the RCIPS has a problem with the level of education and intelligence in its officers. Anyone who has ever experienced interaction with RCIPS officers will tell you that some have a problem. The Commissioner is trying to put that right. Man, that system is so broke how can anyone fix it?

  37. Caymanian Heart & Soul says:

    I’ve noticed that David Baines is greying overnight!!! shows that it’s not what he thought he was going to be doing here, tanning, sipping on Pina Cloadas on the beach, The RCIP needs some real cleaning up, starting from the top, no spring cleaning here…… 

    • Anonymous says:

      Yeah, cos when applying for a job that has seen numerous officers suspended, has allegations of corruption, saw the previous incumbent on island for less than 2 days, and was subject to a high profile investigation, a person would naturally assume that life was gonna be free and easy when they arrived on island. Geez, does no one else on this island recognise that some people take on tough, difficult jobs for the satisfaction of doing something worthwhile? Though the way the people of this island behave, you have to ask if it is worthwhile!

  38. Anonymous says:

    Are you idiots going to be seriously offended about being required to be literate ?????

  39. Anonymous says:

    I am glad at least one of them got an LLB in Law because I cannot think of any other subject you can get an LLB in. Not sure anyone outside the RCIP ever got an LLB in business or engineering. I think the inspector  meant to put the word "an" before the reference to LLB –  Actually, come to think of it an LLB is not a professional qualification anyway… oh screw it… I guess the basic literacy problems are the least of our worries.

    Baines – thank you for being brave enough to state the truth. Inspector  Gordon, thank you for helping to demonstrate the extent of the problem.

    Please just take the courses available to you and help better yourself and the force.


    • Scottish,Irish,Jamacian born CAYMANIAN says:

      now that’s what am talking ABOUT………. THANK YOU 20:23!.

  40. OH WELL…


    One sees the cup half empty – the other sees it full

  41. Anonymous says:

    It’s such a shame that the Police Association has not taken the opportunity to acknowledge the situation and help in dealing with it. It is no secret to anyone who has spent any time on this island that we have some police officers who lack literacy skills that would be considered a basic requirement for the job in almost any other country in the world. Why is the Police Association not helping to do something about it? No-one is suggesting that this applies to all officers, so by pointing to the more qualified officers the Association is sweeping the problem under the carpet.

    • Gordon is right says:

      Don’t read at face value. The Commish was wrong and out of of line. He is simply trying for the public to buy into the notion that the Police officers are incompetent and so the need for the english officers to come here. Don’t fall for that. The officers have sometimes gone above and beyond without looking at time or the negative impact on their families, in fact with the schedule that they have they cannot get to improve on their skills because the supervisors think about RCIP and not the men and women. 

      Cayman, stick with what you have they know you and you knows them. when that 32 come from across the pond, the will be on a two years vacation. I say no more. 

      There are police officers who have never gone a training course since entering the RCIP because the CP of the day did not see it fit to upgrade the skills of the staff, so why is Baines lashing them when he contributed to it by promoting some of them himself.


      • Voice of Reason says:

         Yes, my mother told me never to mock the afflicted.

        If there are basic skills that are not up to standard then the best attitude is, quite clearly, just to leave it be.

        Always accept second best.

        Pigeon English and poor grammar, although having a weakening impact on police evidence in the successful prosecution cases, is best left  be.

        That’s clearly the most intelligent approach. 

        *slow clap*

      • Anonymous says:

        He does not have to try very hard; it is obvious to many of us that the police are illiterate. He wants to bring officers from across the pond? Good. Bring them. As many as possible and fire these unprofessional rejects. Inspector Gordon what does it say about you that you would pen such a response? Imagine if a VP in the private sector did so following a release from the CEO? He would be fired at once. Of course, the private sector would not allow a "union" under the name of "association" and the CEO would have simply fired the nonperformers.

        You cannot read, you do not understand the laws, you are culturally bias and as it stands, the RCIP is a threat to the future of this country and needs to be addressed.

      • Ex RCIP Cop says:
        When I used to serve in the RCIP, on occasion I would be asked what the main difference is between local officers and overseas officers. The best way this can be summed up is as follows ;
        In places like the UK, Canada, and the US, when you deal with a police officer, the vast majority of the time you can expect a minimum standard of skills, education, and experience from the officer you are dealing with. This ‘standard’ is pretty good, and much of the time the officer will far exceed this standard, and I would suggest the officer would rarely fall below this standard. So in short, there is a ‘base line’ for officers, and so both the public and other officers can expect a good minimum standard of service when requiring assistance.
        In Cayman this ‘standard’ can be anything from brilliant, to absolutely dismal, there is no ‘base line.’ Consequently, when you call the police, its a bit of a lottery, you could have a fantastic, educated, experienced and skilled officer turn up on your door step, or you could have someone who can hardly string a sentence together.
        This is the ‘Achilles heel’ of the RCIP, in terms of the lack of consistency in the department in terms of standards of service. A police department needs to have minimum standards which it can expect from its staff, and which the public can expect from the staff, it becomes very difficult to manage when there is such huge variances between officers in terms of skills and experience. However, the Commissioner would do well to ask himself a few ‘difficult’ questions as to why the RCIP is in this situation in the first place, and this problem is an issue that has been prevalent for years. The problem is that the RCIP management treat its staff poorly, mismanage the department, and have created terrible working conditions, which have been touched on by posters of this board fairly recently. If the Commissioner is such an educated and skilled manager as would be expected at his rank, he would realize that what few educated, skilled and experienced officers he does have, all leave after a relatively short period of service in the RCIP, because of these poor working conditions. This means their is a continual ‘brain drain’ in the service, as after all, these good officers will always be able to find alternative work elsewhere on island (Mr. Haines for example), or overseas in other police departments (as many have done). It is the officers who do not have the education, skills and experience who remain within the service, as they will not be able to find work elsewhere.
        If the Commissioner really wants to improve standards in the service, educating his current officers is all well and good, but the real solution lies in improving working conditions, so that the good officers he does have remain in the service, and the good officers that he is able to recruit both locally and overseas, also remain in the service. Only then will we gradually see an improvement in standards, as the amount of high quality officers starts to outnumber the amount of uneducated and unskilled officers. I really do not see how management find this concept so hard to understand, or how it is not so obvious, but I suspect they turn a blind eye to what is staring them in the face, as it entails making significant meaningful change, which is always much more difficult than re-arranging the deck chairs on the Titanic.
        • Rorschach says:

          I’m with you 100% on this Ex…but let’s not forget to touch on another subject…that of Senior Gazzetted police officers who are Waaaay past their prime and are simply holding onto a position for a paycheck becuase most were too dim to properly plan for their retirement….these dinosaurs are obsolete and out of touch…and they sit and stagnate in their respective posts and do NOTHING…and then get "transferred" to other posts in a kind of  RCIPS version of "Musical chairs"……which makes lower ranking officers who really do have the skills and knowledge to do the job even more demoralised because they see no chance of any kind of advancement…as the saying goes…"somebody has to die in order to get promoted around there"…

    • Voice of Reason says:

       Oh, it’s not a problem because it’s a "CULTURAL" thing. That’s clearly fine then…… give me strength.

      Is this a deliberate attempt by the Police Association to make themselves look like a bunch of idiots in the publics’ eyes?




  42. Anonymous says:

    The Police Association has chosen the incorrect position on this issue. Basic literacy is not a topic for training and complaining about improper training or mismanagment of funds as the reason for problems of literacy is not realistic.

    Basic literacy is learned in grade school and the hiring practices need to be reviewed.

    • Anonymous says:

      The hiring practices were reviewed, that is why the current intake do not have these ‘literacy’ problems.  And it may only be a few, this is another example of taking a comment about the way forward for a few (in an open and honest way) and tarring it as an organizational issue