Kid’s cop academy opens in West Bay

| 14/01/2011

(CNS): In an effort to strengthen the relationships between local police and young people in the district of West Bay the RCIPS has started a Junior Police Academy. The initiative which has been developed by West Bay District Commander Chief Inspector Frank Owens, his Neighbourhood policing team and staff from Sir John A. Cumber Primary School began on Thursday over 500 youngsters signed up for some crime busting action. The kids spent two days learning all about various departments of the RCIPS such as the Marine Unit, Traffic Department, K-9 Unit, Neighbourhood Policing, Scenes of Crime and the Air Operations. (Photos by Dennie Warren jr)

Staff from each of the departments were on hand to work with the young would-be cops to build a greater understanding of what the police do – and why. The students were also trying out their marching and drill skills on the ‘parade square’ (the school basketball court) and groups took part in interactive presentations. Following the various sessions the new recruits passed through a ‘graduation ceremony’ to get their Junior Officer badges.

Police said that in the months following the graduation ceremony a series of follow-up visits and presentations by officers will take place at the school.

“The Neighbourhood Officers at West Bay are already very well known at the school,” said Chief Inspector Frank Owens. “They have a good relationship with the students. However, this initiative provides us with an ideal opportunity to introduce them to many more aspects of policing. We’re sure that the youngsters will have a great time and that they will graduate feeling that they know much more about the RCIPS. Who knows, we may even see some of them apply to become police officers in the years to come.”

The Commissioner of Police, David Baines was also there to examine his new rank and file. “I applaud the staff of West Bay and Sir John A Cumber Primary School for their work on this initiative,” the top cop said. “It’s important for us, as a police service, to do all that we can to build relationships with our young people and instil in them a respect and an understanding of what we do.”

He said if it makes young people feel more confident approaching officers in the street, or learn more about teamwork, respect and responsibility it will be a huge success. “I’m sure that everyone involved – the school staff, my officers and the students – will have a great time at the Academy. Over the next few months the initiative will be rolled out to other schools and districts throughout the Islands,” he added.

Joseph Wallace, the Principal of Sir John A. Cumber primary school said he was is delighted to be involved in the programme which provided the students with a wonderful opportunity to get a better understanding of the day to day functions of the police and the level of skills involved in preventing and solving crimes.

“It may also be an eye-opening experience for our older students who may be thinking about law enforcement as a possible choice of career,” he said. “The West Bay Police Department has already established an excellent and supportive working relationship with the school community and this ‘Academy’ is an outstanding opportunity to extend this,” the headmaster added.

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  1. Santa says:

    I was invited by the West Bay police to join them at a Christmas Party they have each year to hand out presents to the youth of the district.  I would like to thank them for the work they do with the youth of the district.  This is volunteer work far above the call of duty for these officers.  It is also a year long progam which show their commitment to the Community of West Bay and its children.

    Thank you and keep up the good work.


  2. Anonymous says:

    Developing trust is the key to any relationship and this a positive step in the right direction. I believe that prevention is better than a cure and getting children to understand that they can help make their district safer is a great thing so hats off to the WB Police and JACPS in leading a proactive project. Also a district cultural market where local arts can be displayed would also encourage more pride in the WB residents. Keep up the good work Inspector Owens and Ebanks and your officers and Pricipal Wallace and JACPS PTA who have been very instrumental.

    Blessings to all,


  3. Anonymous says:

    This was an excellent idea and well done to the RCIP. It was so refreshing to see kids interacting with the Police and this will help to bridge he gap between the police and the public for the future.

    Hopefully this initiative will be extended to more schools across the island and done on a regular basis, say at least every other year.

    It’s also refreshing to see as at the time of this post, that there are no negative comments!

  4. Anonymous says:

    Good on you, Frankie !

    You’re a proper good lad and the Cayman Islands are lucky to have people like you there.

    Best of luck with your project.

  5. Anonymous says:

    A very good idea.

  6. Anonymous says:

    This is beautiful and very encouraging. I saw the students and Police on the Sir John Cumber Primary School field today practicing their drilling etc. and it was a wonderful sight.  I hope the Police plan to include the high schools as well as there are so many career opportunities in the Police Service for young people to aspire to.

    Please continue  this for many more years.

  7. anonymous says:

    This is a very brilliant idea, glad the RCIPS is being proactive.  Perhaps they can also start a mechanic or Carpentry shop or some other bonding activities with the teens too.  There are lots of space next to the Police Station, all they will have to do is to erect 2 or 3 tents and start an on sight mechanic or Carpenter shop, for those children that are not sport motivated, but would rather work with their hands and minds.  There are quite a few retired mechanics and carpenters that can volunteer their times in the evenings, helping the RCIPS out with this project.  We have enough abandoned old cars ’bout the place that they can use to practice on.  Well done again RCIPS for taking an interest in the development of our youths.

  8. Thankful Again says:

    Beautiful….Simply Beautiful……That level of community integration – sustained…will go a long way from removing the monster from the service in the eyes of our youth………

    • Anonymous says:

      Well done all concerned.  It will take years to see the benefits of this initiative  but hopefully it will continue and not just fizzle out over time.  The kids looked as though they had a great time.

  9. Anonymous says:

     No comments here, interesting. People don’t comment much on positive stories. 

    • noname says:

      Of course not, because there isn’t much to complain about. Go figure.

  10. Dennis Smith says:

    Well done.

  11. nauticalone says:

    This seems a very good idea. Well done!

    What will also help is the Police (ALL) set an example by proper driving habits (use signals and have regular speed traps and cameras) and of course preventing and solving more serious crime.

    • Anonymous says:

      Ok, let’s start off with a negative!  You need to speak to your other bloggers, as they generally don’t want speed traps.  You cannot see this as part of the wider prevention strategy, for the long term?  And they do solve crime, did anyone notice the comment about the length of the grand court list………… and the police and prosecution are getting convictions.  Lets just stay positive on this, as with children, a little praise goes a long way.  Well done to Chief Inspector Owens, Inspector Brad Ebanks and the neighbourhood policing team that put this together, and for the school having the courage to support it.  May it be the first of many engagements of those that are the future of Cayman.