Over 50 cops on extended holidays

| 30/08/2017 | 15 Comments

(CNS): There are currently 56 police officers enjoying extended paid holidays because the RCIPS got into a potentially costly situation regarding the build-up of what is known as ‘comp time’. At the end of December 2016 police officers had racked up almost 52,000 hours of overtime, extra work or vacation time that they had not been able to take for operational reasons. The time owed to officers was well beyond what is allowed within the RCIPS policy and the police management was facing a potential bill of more than $1.16 million if they were to pay staff for that time instead of letting them take leave. 

The details about why so many police officers are enjoying long holidays were revealed in the Legislative Assembly last week, as parliamentary questions posed to the new administration kicked-off during the first meeting of this new government.

Arden McLean, the opposition member for East End, asked how many officers were on this extended paid leave and why. Gloria McField-Nixon, who was acting for the deputy governor, told the LA that during the new police commissioner’s review of the service he directed personnel to take accrued leave in excess of 75 hours before the end of this year.

Time owed ranged from just over 250 hours to as much as 1,100 hours or more for some officers. The acting DG said there were many reasons for the build-up of the comp time over a number of years but there was no proper budget provision to pay officers for time worked instead of taking the time off.

McField-Nixon said that in the past management had tried to buy out the time from officers at a cut hourly rate of 50%, but she said that was complicated by salary increases, cost of living allowances and other issues that made it very costly for government coffers. In addition, she said, not all officers accepted the cash offers for their accrued time.

But having made the decision to have officers take extended leave, she said, there were new problems and the situation was being closely reviewed to see what effect having so many officers on leave had on the ones who were at work and whether they were now being forced to rack up more hours because they were filling in for their colleagues enjoying time off.

“Three months in, the situation has stabilised,” McField-Nixon said. She explained that the RCIPS was looking at the rate of accrual because there were previously no processes in place to monitor how comp time was mounting up. However, management is watching the build up now and a senior officer will have to approve the extra hours worked by officers in the future, she said.

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Comments (15)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    I’m pretty sure 90% of them are on extended holidays.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Yes, keep blaming the ‘white’ CoP and keep changing them, while the Jamaican officers keep joining and then not having to work, what a mess!!

    Unless and until we have leaders who will work with the UK to address this domination by Jamaicans we are doomed…. granted all expats came here for financial opportunities, the fact that we have become the major employer of Jamaicans over our own people or others who might not necessarily come from a culture of violence, aggression, then we are going to see the same here.

    This is really a shame on so many levels, from recruitment, management to lack of accountability.

  3. Anonymous says:

    As a victim of two separate serious crimes “under investigation” in the past month, in one case where the crime perpetrator is known, has yet to give a statement, and where the “detective” works only odd late shifts, I can tell you, the current “method” (if you can call it that) is broken beyond repair. If there is nobody supervising the autonomous and non-transferable case load of inept vampire-shift officers, how are we going to bring anyone to justice?!? What value is being added during these nightshifts where they can’t interview people or visit crime scenes? Paid sleep leave?

    • Anonymous says:

      With 50 officers on leave how are they going to really cope ? I would surmise these officers have outstanding case files to complete and maybe expecting the left behind officers to finish up when they have their own to deal with culminated with daily crime offences. Anyway many of. these unfinished files will be become ‘statued barred’. What is the police administration really doing to cope with backlogs? I will reiterate again now is not the time for en masse of officers to be on leave. Crime is on the increase , need more effective beach patrol, ( or else our tourism industry will suffer) our border control needs to be equipped /manned as fugitives are ilfiltrating Cayman as a haven and the list goes on and on.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Well, I don’t know what firm you were working for in the U.K. Must have been the Local Authority. RCIPS cannot rack up overtime sitting on their backsides in the office reading the paper and drinking endless cups of tea! Very rare you’ll see any Officers in the station unless they have very good reason to be there, and you would be questioned why you were there, and you better had a good answer!”Overtime” with RCIPS meant exactly that!……… You worked! When I was an officer, “overtime” meant surveillance or drug raids. The never ending paperwork regarding arrests etc., was the only time we were in the station or handing over to the next shift. The general public don’t realise the work involved of being a Police Officer that is why they have to employ from overseas. It’s a shame that a lot of Caymanians are not interested and it’s a damn good career!

  5. Anonymous says:

    Not sure it’s sensible to publicly state officers are on extended leave.

  6. Anonymous says:

    There a number of issues here.
    1. Supervision how are police officers allowed to accrue so much time. What are the sergeants and inspectors doing
    2. Do the RCIPS not pay overtime unlike customs/immigration and the prison service
    3. Back to supervision what are they getting paid for clearly not to supervise

  7. JON says:

    why fire service getting double salary on overtime but police time back NOT FAIR NOT FAIR

  8. Veritas says:

    With up to 5 months off, they can take a round the world cruise.Don’t blame the police however, this craziness is endemic in the public sector, the slower you perform, the more “comp” time you accrue. This is known as the faux efficiency factor honed to a fine art by our civil srvants.

    • Anonymous says:

      Criminals will commit more crime due to lack of police presence as the few working officers will be overburdened.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Now is not the time to have en masse of Officers on leave with up heaval in crime we need to have officers on the beat patrol police presence all around. Our Natoonal Security is at a all time low. Showing how non -effecrive Police Admininstration is ?

  10. Anonymous says:

    Are we paying for cops in donut shops (eternal break) or is this truly earned overtime? What a cash cow, and it seems, with the figures reported cops have coined on big time. Why perform on the job during regular time if you can get compensated double for doing it on overtime.

    Who is really overseeing police and collecting data on how effective they are? The answer to my last statement it seems is not obvious and of no growing concern either. News Flash – we just got the go ahead to hire more cops to fill in for the scivers. Funny that you see increased police pressure or police presence on the streets proportional to every boost in police labor force we get every few years. Something’s very wrong with this picture, and this has been getting perceivably worse for years.

    CIG thinks they can keep throwing money at it but the sitiation does not seem to be improving. I implore someone from RCIPS to respond and enlighten myself and other readers on why you can’t all seem to do justice to your positions on Regular Time.

    I know there are officers that put in 200%+ on regular time but sadly these few are carrying the rest.

    • Anonymous says:

      12:53 This reminds me of when the UK civil service introduced flexi-time about 35 years ago and staff were racking up ‘flexi-days’ by working longer hours but still only doing the same amount of work. People would clock in at 7am then read the papers, drink coffee and use the bathroom until their supervisor (who wasn’t on flexi-time and didn’t get paid overtime) came in around 8:30am. Then they’d do their regular work with a 30 minute lunch break and stay on killing time at the end of the day until the office closed at 6pm. By doing that they could clock up a flexi-day every four working days. Been there, seen it, done it!

    • Anonymous says:

      12.53am Cash cow? You have absolutely no clue what you are writing about. It is clear that the RCIPS was not paying cash but insisted that the officers take the time off.Have you ever heard of a bank accepting “Comp Time” or “Time in lieu ” as payment. I suspect that you imagine a police officer walking in to his bank and saying “I have 1100 hours of comp time and would like to use 100 hours of it to make a payment on my mortgage”. Sorry it doesn’t work that way. Time in lieu is just that , time that is taken in lieu of payment of overtime.In certain situations where it is difficult to get the time off agreement can be made to pay cash instead , usually at a reduced rate.

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