Customs recruits pass through new longer training

| 09/07/2014

(CNS): Five Caymanians have received their signature epaulettes after completing a rigorous 12-week training course at Customs Headquarters last month. Training Manager Langlie Powery (left) said the training had been expanded from the customary four weeks to better prepare the recruits to the complexities of the job. As well as instruction from customs instructors, the new recruits were given information by representatives from agriculture, immigration, legal, commerce & investment, tourism and environment, police, prison, the Monetary Authority, law school, Office of the Complaints Commissioner, Protocol Office and the Information Commissioner’s Office.

“The goal was to provide the new recruits with a broad overview of the roles, responsibilities and challenges new customs officers face as custodians of securing our borders and revenue,” explained Powery.

As the five new officers graduated from the twelve week course they received their certificates from Minister of Finance and Economic Development, Marco Archer described the men and woman as “the first line of defence”, as he urged them to take pride in a profession that protects the Cayman Islands from external forces, and told them to be undeterred by criticisms they were bound to encounter in their jobs.

The group comprised Philip Justin Anglin, Derry Arch, Melinda Dickson, top recruit  Yuliet Rivero-Romulo and Kiera Simpson.

Welcoming them to the “family” and sharing tips on how they might excel, customs boss Samantha Bennett asked the newcomers to set a good example and be involved as team members.

“Be genuinely interested, inspired and motivated,” she said as she advised them to be good communicators, as often the message can get lost if conveyed poorly. “A better informed officer will do a great job,” she added.

Rivero-Romulo, who spoke on behalf of the recruits who are facing a demanding workload with the changes to the customs tariffs said the training had been invaluable, readying them to tackle their job.

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  1. noname says:

    dont forget the interation with Customs is much more personal than Immigration. Glad to see they are stopping all the persons trying to move past with tons of luggae and not declaring there stuff.  I decalre most of the time but that me…….. how about you???!!!!!

  2. Anonymous says:

    good job as I heard the training prior to this was 3 weeks and then staff are on their own! I commend them for extending this as Immigration staff train for 6 months and Police officers longer.  Question is why in the world wasnt it done from a long time ago!

  3. Anonymous says:

    Keep Customs "Caymanian" as I am just tired of being greeted by other individuals from other countries.

    Please play some low local music at the airport.


  4. Anonymous says:

    At least there is a realization that some training is required so we now hope that the training pays off. As a female, I can say that for years I have felt extremely targeted by female officers who seems to take issue when other females go on shopping trips while they have to work! Please ensure that the screening is done equally across the board!!!! There should be no favors for friends of cousins of the sister in law. It is extremely mean when someone walks through with 4 big duffle bags, while another person with one suitcase is being searched.

  5. Anonymous says:

    This is a customer facing job. To ensure a good impression with tourists and returning residents, teach these new recruits sickly sweet behaviour. How to be firm with a smile which make the people want more. Instead of being attacked and feel targeted, treat people friendly. Even if a person is being targeted. Do not allow them to feel that way. You get more bees with honey than vinegar. 

    what tourist or resident wants to come to the island to see a scowl on the face? Rather than opening each bag and wasting people's time, why not have X-rays before the bags get on the carousel and put a tag of some sort on bags that need manual searching.  That way each and every bag is searched and no preferential treatment is provided that way. Plus have the drug dogs permanently at the airport in the baggage area before the bags get to the people. While you are at it. Before bags get on the plane each bag goes through an X-ray and is sniffed by a dog. Make that a permanent fixture. 

    Next time recruit young sexy good looking people. The reality is people are more willing to cooperate when distracted by beauty whether male or female. 

    • Anonymous says:


      Looking forward to the job ad for that one – only young sexy good looking people need apply 🙂   You can't ask for resumes to be sent to a PO box but you can specify appearance – hmmmm. 

      • Anonymous says:

        A few months of Government donuts and she'll blend in anyway

        • Anonymous says:

          Then for insurance health reasons.It is mandatory for these staff to keep a bmi of whatever it should be. Again not only for females but good looking young males. If they gain weight they get written up. The reality is certain jobs are for certain types of people. It is not discrimination. It is just the reality. You aren't going to see an old man or woman dressed sexy working as a bar tender in a young ritzy nightclub. They just wouldn't be hired. It doesn't fit the image. 

  6. local says:

    Just came back to the Island today from a short trip.

    Could we get some smiles and a little common courtesy in place of a sour face !

    • Anonymous says:

      I absolutely 110% agree with you !!!

      I'm not being a sexist but 98% of the time…….. it's a female officer(s) who exhibits a "sulky and sour" demeanour when you enter the Customs Inspection Hall. Female Immigration officers are generally OK but Customs……. OMG !!   

  7. Anonymous says:

    The normal 4 weeks to 12 weeks, its cause they had to keep teaching them over and over again lol..lets see how these fair, cause as far as I am concerned the bunch of them at the airport and the ware house need to be tought manners and how to talk to people for the obviously don't know how to!!!

  8. Rose says:

    finally a proper training programme for these officers! thank you Ms Bennett.