By Christopher Tobutt
The RCIPS held a Recruitment Fair at their Training and Development Unit at Governor’s Square, so that Caymanians and others who meet the selection requirements could see what life in the police service was all about. If they are selected, they will be invited to one of the two intakes of new recruits planned for 2020, and from there undergo the 17-week basic training course to become police officers. After that, each of the recruits can think about how they would like to branch out to pursue careers in the various different police departments that best suit their passion, aptitude and personality.
“The focus is on recruiting Caymanians, and on recruiting males and females in equal numbers,” explained Police Commissioner Derek Byrne. “One of the interesting things about us is the range of services we provide. So any young persons (and even not-so-young, because there’s room for mature persons as well) come in to the force, do their two years’ probation, and after that there is a range of options for persons with particular skill sets.”
There is so much diversification within the RCIPS, so it is a really interesting and challenging career, for those that have the aptitude. Those who look back on careers, they have enjoyed their time serving as police officers,” Mr. Byrne continued, “they enjoy working in communities the diversity of the people that they meet, the challenges they encounter, and the experience they gain, and in many instances, the lifelong friends they make.”
People were coming in and looking around, and were able to talk to officers representing the wide range of departments, including the MASH unit, Family Support unit, K9 department, Air Operations Unit, and Financial Crime, amongst others. Detective Superintendent Pete Lansdown was busy explaining the work of the Criminal Investigation Department to Christina Tracy who was very interested in joining: “Today was very informative, I learned of the different departments that are in the RCIPS. I am very interested with the Crime Scene investigation department and it was explained to us how to make our reports, and how the department runs, overall. It is totally something different from what my career is now, because I am an Executive Pastry Chef,” she said.
The Air Operations Unit has been expanding its scope, and apart from the helicopters, now operates three drones, which can help spot missing persons, or help with big events like Pirates’ Week. PC Kristoff Powell has been with the Unit from February this year. Through training, he said, he was able overcame his fear of heights. “I like the unit. It gives another perspective on policing where the norm is to be on the road; we provide some sort of humanitarian support as well as medical support and so far it’s been very interesting.”
Deserey Burton, an officer with the HR Department, said: “First of all we are catering to the local Caymanians we are pushing for that, because we feel that, at this point we would like to increase those numbers across those units, but not Caymanians only, but other suitable non-Caymanians as well; persons who would have met the four-year legal requirement for being on- island, including the regular standard requirements which is the high school diploma or 3 CXE subjects. The kind of person we are looking for is someone with a passion; wanting to make a difference and wanting to change lives.”