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Live-In Cops Planned For NS And EE
GEORGE TOWN, Grand Cayman (CNS) -- Police Commissioner Derek Byrne has revealed plans to post live-in officers at the North Side and East End police stations after renovations to the two stations that have been closed or unmanned for years are completed.
The independent MLAs for both districts have been calling on successive RCIPS chiefs to do something about what they see as the failure to properly police their districts, which has led to surge in burglaries. But now the two communities are likely to get some of the most dedicated policing from full time officers, who will live and work at the stations once the work is finished.
The plans to install two permanent community officers in North Side and East End were revealed in the Legislative Assembly on Thursday, when the commissioner attended parliament to help Acting Deputy Governor Jennifer Ahearn answer a parliamentary question by Ezzard Miller about the review of the police service and the posting of officers in his constituency.
Ahearn said that the residential officers are expected to take up their duties at the live-in stations in April and they will be in addition to the 36 officers who are currently covering the eastern districts, increasing the complement to 40 for Bodden Town, North Side and East End. The RCIPS has asked for expressions of interest in the service for officers who would like to take up residence and become the permanent police for the two communities. The commissioner has also revealed that he is considering permanently attaching detectives to those two stations in addition to the permanent PCs
After the LA meeting, Byrne told CNS that the RCIPS has been considering re-opening the East End and North Side police stations for some time in response to community needs and request. But the service has also had to manage demands for policing and emergency response while undertaking further recruitment.
“Given these issues, the opening of both the East End and North Side locations as both police stations and residences makes both good policing and financial sense,” he said. “There is an initial cost to making the needed repairs to the locations so they are suitable as living spaces, however, having a police officer both living and working at the location means that he or she can integrate into the community as both an officer and a neighbour, and have a sustained presence. In our view, the long- term community benefit outweighs the initial costs.”
The commissioner is currently undertaking a full review of the RCIPS and has already stated that while the basic framework of policing is sound, he has identified significant gaps in skills and capacity that are creating vulnerabilities which need to be addressed to make the RCIPS a modern service that meet the community’s policing needs. It is expected that the review, which will be given to the governor, will be completed in the next few months.
Asked about the alleged racism and inequities that Bernie Bush, the opposition CDP member for West Bay, said was “rampant” through the police service, the acting deputy governor said the commissioner’s review would cover all aspects of the service, including those accusations.