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Caymanian CoP takes the reins

Front Pages 05 Oct, 2023 Follow News

Caymanian CoP takes the reins

Last Friday, Former Commissioner Derek Byrne retired as Commissioner of Police following seven years at the top spot, making way for Commissioner Kurt Walton as the New Head of the Office of the Commissioner of Police and the RCIPS.

Commissioner Walton gave his oath to office and was formally appointed as Chief Officer and Commissioner by Acting Governor Franz Manderson.

Following the new Commissioner’s appointment, Mr Manderson congratulated Commissioner Walton and said:

“We are delighted to have a Caymanian as head of the RCIPS, and we wish you every success.”

On Sunday the RCIPS held a Change of Command Ceremony to celebrate the achievements of their outgoing Commissioner of Police and to welcome and congratulate their new Commissioner of Police. The event, which was hosted by PC Jodi-Ann Powery, Police Media Officer with the OCP, featured highlights of the achievements of Commissioner Byrne over the seven years in which he was Commissioner of Police. In particular, the focus was on his efforts to modernise the Service.

Former Commissioner Byrne admitted that the achievements he made in Cayman within the seven years that he was Commissioner far surpassed the many years he spent and worked elsewhere.

“The Cayman Islands is fortunate to have resources and capabilities that other parts of the world do not and so development has proven to be far less difficult,” he confirmed.

Former Commissioner Byrne felt the Service would be in safe hands with the new appointment.

“Working with Commissioner Walton over the years has allowed me to see the talent and capabilities that he has, and it will be exciting to see what new ideas he will bring to the organisation as Commissioner of Police. I know that he will excel and that the OCP is in excellent hands,” he said.

Following his remarks, former Commissioner Byrne conducted the passing of the baton ceremony, where the baton - an RCIPS historical artifact which dates to 1952, was used as a symbol of passing on the responsibilities of the role from one Commissioner to another. The uniformed members of the Senior Command Team joined the Commissioners on stage to show their support.

Commissioner Walton, who has served with the RCIPS since December 1986, spoke regarding his intentions as the new Chief Officer and Commissioner of Police.

He also spoke about the outgoing Commissioner: “Commissioner Byrne served his last day in office as the Commissioner of Police on Friday, and he could have taken a half day, as would have been his right, but he didn’t, he stayed the entire day completing the hand over process that we have been undertaking for the last few weeks now. His willingness to do what he can to make this transition process as smooth as possible for me, speaks to the kind of man he is and the leader that we have had for the last seven years. The Cayman Islands will always welcome you with open arms.”

Former Commissioner Byrne was then presented with a gift by Commissioner Walton on behalf of the OCP. The gift was an art piece that was specially created by artist Yonier Powery and entitled ‘Innovator’ for the OCP’s Innovator, Commissioner Byrne. It was designed using all recycled materials, most of which were taken from decommissioned boats and cars from the OCP fleet. The piece sported a man on a vehicle with lenses looking into the future and a Commissioner, made in the likeness of Commissioner Byrne, along with his cap badge that he’s worn over the past seven years.

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