By Christopher Tobutt
It was a big day for for 24 new officers from Customs & Border Control who graduated basic training on Friday 27 January at the Harquail Theatre. The celebrations began with all the graduans displaying their drill skills outside, a ‘first’ for the service which is celebrating its fourth anniversary in 2023.
Inside, all 24 of the smartly turned out officers - representing just 5% of the total applicants - sang the National Song before the addresses and awards were given out. Present were Acting Governor Franz MandersonHon. Christopher Saunders, Deputy Prmier and Minister for Border Control, , Chief Officer Wesley Howell, and CBC Director Charles Clifford.
Mr. Clifford said, “I offer my sincere congratulations, and admiration on reaching this milestone today. As CBC officers we have dedicated ourselves to protecting our country and ensuring the freedom and safety of the people of our beloved Cayman Islands.
“Our vision is to strengthen the security and stablility of the Cayman Islands through an intelligence led risk management approach. Our mission to collect and protect revenue, facilitate legitimate travel and trade while providing effective border managment for the safety of our environment, citizens and visitors.”
Training for the class of 22/23 began last year, and included freedom of information training , as well as two weeks of classroom and intense practical training in risk management, with Caribbean Regional Systems Training, and fraudulent document training delivered by the overseas investigations unit of the US Embassy in Kingston, who were supported by the UK border force and Canadian High Commission. The CBC basic training course commenced on the 13 june 2022 and included a combination of theoretical and practical learning.
Deputy Governor Franz Manderson said, “We depend on you as CBC officers to help to protect the security of our islands. You’re in charge of detecting guns and pills and other harmful substances into our country at our ports. There’s no other agency that has the responsibility of detecting undesirable persons coming into the islands.
“You’re now part of what makes Cayman special. You are ambassadors for our country. The first person that a passenger is going to see when they turn up at passport controls is you. How they view the Cayman Islands will have a lot to do with how you conduct yourself. They are not going to care that you might not be having a great day. They are going to expect that you are going to provide a warm Caymanian welcome to everyone, regardless of how you are feeling.”
Mr. Marnderson added that the “Happy,” rating for the customs check point had been constistently at 94% over several years, and that not many other destinations would be able to boast such a high level of customer satisfaction.
Hon. Christopher Saunders said, “We have never had four generations working in the workplace at the same time. You can have an 18 year old working alongside an 81 year old, because people are now living longer and people are also coming out at a much younger age. Equally, this is the first time in human history that leadership which traditionally goes from the elder to the younger person has now reversed itself, for the simple fact of technological advances”
Director Chales Cifford and Senior Deputy Director Bruce Smith presented each of the CBC officers with their graduation certificates and medals. In the Special Awards section, Best Academic Performance was presented to Jermaine Wilson, Best Academic Research Paper was presented to Joshwa Clarke, and Sherreth Fisner-Gardner received Most Improved Trainee. Talisa Martin recieved the award for Best Oral Presentation as well as the Leadership Award.
Outstanding Proficiency Awards went to CBC Officers Tiffany Rose Bennett; Agnes Green-Ferguson; Yitzchak Conolly, John Arch, Eric Turner; Theresa Senior, Sherreth Fisher-Gardner and Leannie Douglas. Esprit de Corps went to Eric Turner. Best Female in Physical Training award went to Dee-An-Foster, and Best Male in Physical Training went to CBC officer Joshwa Clarke
24 Sep, 2019
25 Feb, 2020
28 Jun, 2019
18 Nov, 2019
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