Caymanian Julian D. Lewis will take over as the new Director of the Department of Public Safety Communications (DPSC) in late February, the Ministry of Home Affairs has announced.
Mr Lewis has served as assistant director in the department’s Electronic Monitoring Centre (EMC) since 2011. He replaces American Brent Finster, a public safety communicator with 35 years of experience, and the department’s first director since August 2008.
Appointed following a public recruitment process, Mr Lewis will manage the Cayman Islands’ Public Safety Communications Centre (PSCC - formerly known as 9-1-1), as well as the electronic monitoring (of offenders wearing ankle bracelets) and national closed circuit television (CCTV) programmes.
“I am truly honoured to be heading a dynamic and highly dedicated staff that provides service to clients 24-7,” the incoming director said.
“We work in a challenging field where no two days are the same. Yet while the demands on our 24 members of staff are high, they are invariably handled adeptly. Nevertheless, we have to keep up our training and professionalism, so that we continue to provide excellent service to our clients,” he added.
Commenting on the appointment, Ministry of Home Affairs Chief Officer Eric Bush said: “I welcome Mr Lewis and look forward to working with him in his new role. He has proven his capability and capacity for hard work and excellence since joining the department in 2011.”
He also lauded the outgoing director for his commitment to succession planning. “Mr Finster was one of the first department heads in the Ministry of Home Affairs to implement a formal succession plan, which guided training and development needs for staff in the department. The rigorous recruitment process proves that succession planning works.”
Mr Lewis, who possesses a Bachelor’s of Law degree from the Truman Bodden Law School, previously served in the Royal Cayman Islands Police Force for 11 years. At the department, he is one of two Caymanian Assistant Directors who were being mentored by the Director as part of a succession plan.
The Chief Officer thanked Mr Finister for his service for much of the past decade. “Mr Finster has served very ably for over seven years. During that time, he has established an impressive legacy with the implementation of the first national CCTV initiative, the expansion of electronic monitoring, the relentless drive to improve emergency dispatch services and, more recently, the on-boarding of non-emergency dispatch.”
Meantime, the PSCC’s workload grew by 5.8 per cent in fiscal year 2014-15 over the previous year, while 911 telephone calls rose considerably by 20.5 per cent from 79,899 to 96,244 during this time. 911 clients include government entities such as the police and emergency medical services, as well as the general public.