By Christopher Tobutt
Despite all the trouble and disruption Covid 19 caused to training schedules, 11 new police officers joined the ranks of the RCIPS. Their graduation ceremony at the Harquail Theatre began by a super-smart drill in the parking lot, as buttons gleamed and boots shone like black diamonds. His Excellency the Governor Mr. Martyn Roper was there to inspect the 8 women and 3 men who proudly woke up this morning as fully fledged police officers, with all the responsibility that such a title commands. Proud family and friends stood at the side, taking photos and videos to show to those who couldn’t be there. It is always a proud and special day when someone joins the RCIPS.
Inside, dignitaries including Deputy Governor Franz Manderson and all the senior officers from the police service took their place on the stage, and the new officers made their way to their seats at the front of the theatre.
Head of Training & Development Unit Superintendent Adrian Seales praised the graduates and thanked training officers Sergeant Kern and David Fordyce in particular. The new recruits had been shortlisted, and they had begun their training back in April, but their training had been interrupted by COVID 19, and the new recruits were immediately deployed where they were needed most. “They worked with crowd control at supermarkets, at Owen Roberts International Airport repatriation flights or at the quarantine hotel facilities. The graduates received instructions in Cayman Islands laws, regulations, policies, procedures, and other best practices. They also received safety training, and training with batons and handcuffs, first aid, CPR,” Mr. Seales said.
Police Commissioner Derek Bryne said, “Today we welcome 11 new police officers into the ranks of the RCIPS, a day that our newest graduates should remember with great pride. As our newest recruits they bring new enthusiasm, a fresh perspective and new opportunities to organizations around the Cayman islands and the communities that we serve.
“With the onset of unanticipated COVID-19 challenges, you stepped up to the plate and joined front line officers to cover our supermarkets and vehicle checkpoints and played a vital part in protecting our communities. Policing by its nature is a hugely rewarding and noble profession and the future is bright for those who wish to accept. Actively listen to the people with the persons you come in contact and never compromise on integrity because if you lose it, it will become difficult if not impossible to restore.”
One by one, each of the new officers was called onto the stage to receive their certificate from Commissioner Bryne. Then it was time for the special awards, this time presented by H.E the Governor, with Officer PC James Fordyce, to the officers who had excelled. Top Academic Student Award went to Shanique Frater, who had scored 88 percent in the tests which have a pass-mark of 70, although all the students had done exceptionally well, and had an average score of 85 percent. The Resilience Award went to Angelita Durrant, who was highly praised for having overcome many obstacles. Team Spirit Award was presented to La-Vann Sheriffe, while the Best Drill & Deportment Award went to Thalia Naranjo. Finally, the Most Outstanding Student Award was presented to Shawn Dsouza.