Despite efforts, police lag in local recruitment

| 24/09/2017 | 46 Comments
Cayman News Service

Governor Helen Kilpatrick inspects RCIPS officers on parade

(CNS): Trainee police officers are the highest paid of all new recruits in the uniform services but the Royal Cayman Islands Police Service has the hardest time recruiting Caymanians into its ranks. Customs, immigration and the fire service all have 100% local staff or close to it, whereas Caymanians make up just 48% of RCIPS staff, even lower than the prison service, where 52% are local.

Of the 380 police officers, 168 are Caymanians (44%) of various ranks in the service as high as deputy commissioner of police. The service also has 68 civilian staff, 45 of whom are Caymanians, for a total of 210 local staff out of 448 people in total employed by the RCIPS.

This month the police service began its fourth targeted recruitment drive to attract Caymanians to train to be police officers, and it is making an all-out effort to find at least ten who can make it through the selection process, including holding an open day on Grand Cayman and another one on Cayman Brac this last weekend. They plan to begin a new recruit class by the end of December 2017 or early January 2018.

Police Commissioner Derek Byrne told CNS, “The RCIPS has been struggling over the years to secure Caymanian applicants; nonetheless we have been endeavouring to increase the numbers of our Caymanian police officers.”

Among these afforts, the RCIPS participated in the Cayman Islands Further Education Centre’s career day programme to educated young Caymanians about the service in general and the benefits of working in the organisation. “We plan to do more of these projects in the schools in an effort to curb the perception that the public has of the police and thus encouraging Caymanian applicants,” CoP Byrne said.

By contrast, Collector of Customs Charles Clifford told CNS that the customs department has no problem recruiting Caymanians. “In fact, in our last recruitment drive last year, we received just over 300 applications from Caymanians,” he noted. Clifford said that all but one of the customs department staff members are local, and the single non-Caymanian employee is married to a Caymanian.

At the immigration department every single staff member is Caymanian and in the Cayman Islands Fire Service all but two (129 out of 131) are Caymanian. One of the two non-Caymanian staff members is Chief Fire Officer David Hails.

Like the police, Her Majesty’s Cayman Islands Prison Service struggles to attract local staff. Currently, the prisons have 150 staff members, 78 Caymanians and 72 non-Caymanians, and there are currently two vacancies available, prison authorities told CNS. But prison recruits, along with fire service recruits, are the worst paid, recieving only $2,191 – $2,947 per month (Grade Q on the government pay scale).

However, a spokesperson for the prisons said remuneration is an individual negotiation. “Most recruits join the service with no correctional experience or qualifications and start at point 1 of the pay band. If a recruit did have correctional experience or qualifications, a higher point on the pay scale could be considered.”

All new recruits for the fire service start at point 1 of Grade Q on the pay scale, a spokesperson said.

At the other end of the scale, police recruits recieve a monthly salary of $2,711 – $3,649 (Grade O), which is the same as a fire officer who has finished not just the training but also the probation period in the CIFS. Anyone without prior policing experience would start at point 1 on the band, according to the RCIPS.

Trainee customs officers start on a salary of $2,453 – $3,297 per month (Grade P). If the candidate has only the basic skills and experience required, they will start at the minimum point of the pay grade, according to the collector of customs.

“However, when a candidate’s previously acquired skills and experience indicate that they will contribute more than the minimum required upon hire, they can be offered a salary above the minimum of the pay grade. A candidate’s previous salary may be taken into consideration as well,” Clifford added.

Immigration is the only services in which recruits enter a different pay band after basic training. They start on Grade Q (customarily at the bottom, which is $2,191), and after successfully completing a long training period of six months, their salary increases to Grade P during their probabtion period.

Fully trained officers who have completed their probation period in the prison service, immigration and RCIPS are all on Grade M, which is $3,311 – $4,453 per month, usually set at the minimum point of the pay grade. However, as Clifford explained, at customs this could be higher if it is justified by the candidate’s previous experience and/or salary.

Police officers also recieve a $200 monthly allowance.

Fully qualified immigration officers start off in a lower pay band, receiving $2,993 – $4,023 per month (Grade N), while fire officers who have completed their probation period are at the bottom of the pile in terms of pay, getting just $2,711 – $3,649 per month (Grade O).

How long it takes to go from the beginning of training to the end of probation also varies widely. Police recruits may be the best paid but they also have the longest probation period by far — two years — following 17 weeks basic training, so it will take them 41 months to progress to the Grade M pay band.

The customs basic training course lasts 16 week, afterwhich officers go through a probation period between six and 12 months. Fully qualified immigration officers must have gone through six months training and six months probationary period.

For the fire service, the training period for new recruits is three months followed by a six month probationary period, which can be extended for a period not exceeding six months if necessary. “So there is the possibility of a 12 month probationary period if required,” a spokesperson said.

The probation period for the prison service appears to be variable. Prison officer basic training lasts for 12 weeks, which consists of eight weeks of classroom and practical exercises and four weeks of on the job training.

“Recruits remain on same pay scale until promoted to prison officer rank,” a spokesperson for HMCIPS said. “Promotion depends on vacancies and competency of recruits to assume additional responsibilities.”

Training period Probation period Training pay/mth Probation pay/mth Qualified pay/mth % Caymanian
Customs 16 weeks 6-12 months $2,453 – $3,297 (P) $3,311 – $4,453 (M) 100%
Fire 3 months 6-12 months $2,191 – $2,947 (Q) $2,711 – $3,649 (O) 98.5%
Immigration 6 months 6 months $2,191 – $2,947 (Q) $2,453 – $3,297 (P) $2,993 – $4,023 (N) 100%
Police 17 weeks 2 years $2,711 – $3,649 (O) $3,311 – $4,453 (M) 48%
Prison 12 weeks variable $2,191 – $2,947 (Q) $3,311 – $4,453 (M) 52%
Pay Grade Per month Per year
M $3,311 – $4,453 $39,732 – $53,436
N $2,993 – $4,023 $35,916 – $48,276
O $2,711 – $3,649 $32,532 – $43,788
P $2,453 – $3,297 $29,436 – $39.564
Q $2,191 – $2,947 $26,292 – $35,364
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Comments (46)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    In 2010, out of 500 local applicants, only 9 met the criteria for joining RCIPS. The vast majority fell short on the initial application due to poor spelling and grammar, and on the fitness test. These two factors alone cut the number of applications from 500 down to around 20.

    These are critical areas for a would be police officer. A good command of language in order that statements and files of evidence can be clearly understood in a court of law. A reasonable level of fitness in order that officers can safely meet the challenges of the role.

    Address these two matters and a police force with 100% Caymanian officers will be easily achievable.

    • Anonymous says:

      Hahaha half of them can’t use a keyboard! One finger typing with more inaccuracies than your granny.

  2. Kylo Ren says:

    What a bunch of croc 721pm pure rubbish, you must be talking about the prosecute and charge only caymanians policy now in place or enforced at the RCIPS, by those brought here to be impartial so they claim. If you have any doubts about this statement simply check the court list to remove the doubt of out of your little devious mind.

  3. Anonymous says:

    There are some serious underlying problems within this organization.

  4. Anonymous says:

    If we continue to recruit our police from a third world corrupt country what do we expect. There needs to be a freeze on recruiting officers from Jamaica. Jamaicans in cayman don’t have to obey our laws because they can escape prosecution by their countrymen for $25.

  5. Anonymous says:

    My brother in law was a policeman for a few years. He was well treated by the administration but gave it up because everyone in his damn family expected him to let them off when he caught them speeding….one at nearly 100mph on the Queens Highway. He tells me it’s a common problem, Caymanians “want an ease” and when you don’t give it to them, the whole community is against you because as a Caymanian, you aren’t supporting Caymanians.

  6. Catcha Fire says:

    This is now beyond repair Cayman the damage is done we wll just have to live with this menace now unfortunately some of the blame lies with some of our very own with their corruption and their little hidden agenda .

  7. Moms Trousers says:

    Yes this Police Farce is inundated with foreigners and is now consuming our entire budget and constantly fleecing our economy and society. We aint getting $#@! for it corruption is rife and injusctice reigns in this place unless you from the continent of Europe or Canada and other Carribbean destinations.

    • Just saying says:

      RCIP can’t hire locally because they don’t want Caymanians. I personally know of 3 young Caymanian women who applied to become an officer, but got zero consideration for one reason or the other yet they are qualified and have no criminal record. Nevertheless, I’ve seen foreign women one day working as cleaners then I see them sporting police uniforms….Listen!!!! Caymanians are a dying people in their own country. Simple as that 🙁

      • Anonymous says:

        So right ! The domestics, nannies, window cleaners, gas attendants, gardeners all make up the police force some are even senior ranks. That’s why the morals are so low and the force is very unprofessional. I think we have the worst calibre of officers in the Caribbean.

      • Anonymous says:

        “I personally know”….always the beginning of a bullshit post.

      • Anonymous says:

        “But got zero consideration for one reason or another” – so they failed the fitness test even after it had been dropped to a walking pace!

        • Anonymous says:

          I thought the point of recruiting people was to train them and bring them up to par.

          Why deny people who have a genuine interest in serving, when all they need is training and a development plan!

          • Jimmy says:

            Nope. If you are serious about joining the job, you work to getting yourself in a position whereby you are ready to begin training i.e. shifting the excess pounds first. That shows a bit of commitment and enthusiasm.

            • Kimberley Wright says:

              exactly…… fitness is continuous and one can be at a healthy weight and is not physically fit. show us then that you are here to work by losing the excess weight before coming to us, that way we have something to work with going forward #justsaying

    • Anonymous says:

      Hey … You can always do it yourself!
      If you are that concerned about furriners doing it, do it yourself.
      Just sayin….

      • Anonymous says:

        If you’re a foreigner here, chances are you abandoned your home Country, for obvious reasons.

        So, why come here and put down locals for not giving back enough when you left yours behind?! You ran away from your problems; did you think that you wouldn’t find any here?

  8. Anonymous says:

    It will always be low because of how the locals & regional people are being treated! have you notice that most local police have transferred to customs? Have you check the reason why CNS?

    • Anonymous says:

      Because they can double the monthly salary with paid overtime, the RCIPS refuse to pay overtime.

      • Jotnar says:

        and they get to work in an ac environment with no risk of someone trying to kill them

      • Anonymous says:

        Cause they are well paid!!

        • Anonymous says:

          Because even if you want to be the best policeman or woman in Cayman your friends think you should let them off minor misdemeanors or even the serious ones. Then you become persona non grata if you don’t. Which, in summary demonstrates that expats should be blamed for everything and locals are above the law ( at least they think). With that attitude Caymanians are going backwards. Accountability is what matters. As long as Caymanians feel they are not accountable nothing will change.

      • Jimmy says:

        Apparently they now pay overtime in monetary terms. Good.

  9. Puritan says:

    Well VeritAss looks like your propangada doctrine was wrong and Logans Run was right and if you think its a coincidence why those two law enforcement agencies have a high amount of foreign nationals in leadership positions then you just aint seeing the big picture. Its because the colonial power wants it that way to maintain absolute control and to protect their interest with the conveinence of not having to pay for it Finally the same architects that cause the shift in the police are unfortunately now in present at HM Customs with the very same nasty little agenda. Yet we now wonder why corruption is so bad and everywhere in these islands.The problem Cayman is our own passivity to this terrible situation allows this injustice to continue and will eventually destroy Cayman

    • Veritas says:

      Impuritan – My doctrine hit home, the immigration service is 100% Caymanian and it is rotten from top to bottom to judge by all the suspensions.How many in the police force are currently suspended?.To state that the police deliberately employ criminals and kick out talented and hard working Caymanians is Caymanian nonsense.How about some facts to back up these absurd claims, we certainly have them in immigration.
      As for Customs, again, explain yourself, it is headed by a Caymanian and all but one of the staff are Caymanian, instead of all this xenophobic hysteria again give us some facts.
      My advice to you is go back to school to improve your english and vote for independence.

      • Anonymous says:

        Very wrong about Immigration Dept rotten from top to bottom. There are a few excellent officers very near the top but can’t get top job while suspended remain on the role.

  10. Observer says:

    CNS, we have a new COP now so please when putting articles about RCIPS use the face of the new not Baines that’s the most damning cop we have ever had and we don’t need to be reminded of him. Thanks

  11. Cecil Goddard says:

    Hello so I am to understand that they are applying for the least paying jobs,are they stupid or what?

  12. Anonymous says:

    If only teachers we’re paid that amount. We need more teachers, engineers, and doctors. The driving force behind a sustainable economy and the forefront of technology lies in education.

  13. Unison says:

    They need more Customs and Immigration staff / officers. IT IS ALWAYS POLICE!

    Especially Immigration … I don’t know why we have just a handful of Immigration patrol officers for the entire 60,000 population. That is rediculous. Of course you will have so many breaches of the Immigration laws because not enough officers. And Customs as well… if we don’t have enough vessels and equipment to PROTECT OUR BORDERS, it wouldn’t matter how many Police officers we get! Illegal landers will slip in and criminals through our borders. I know its not popular in the U.S. and Mexico, but we need to focus on PROTECTING OUR WALL !



    • Diogenes says:

      Unabomber maybe learn to spell, might really help (there is no cure for crazy but at least you might be able to pass for competent) Moving onto the normal lunacy that we know and expect from you, the police are just as capable of supplementing immigration raids and patrols along with customs as required, there is no need for hiring brand new people to do a similar job, we need to be fiscally responsible and reallocate the resources we already possess. The money saved on not hiring and training new officers for customs and Immigration can be used to improve and upgrade equipment so that every action and operation is as efficient as possible. Common sense really isn’t your area of expertise but try to use that brain every once in a while, blow the dust off the inbred circuits and try this magical thing called rational thought or feel free to find your neanderthal brethren and join them in extinction.

  14. Anonymous says:

    Of the 78 Caymanians in the prison service, how many are Jamaican?
    Of the 72 non Caymanians in the prison service, how many are Jamaican?
    Of the 210 Caymanians in the police, how many are Jamaican?
    Of the 238 non Caymanians in the police, how many are Jamaican?

    These are serious questions, and an honest answer might explain a lot.

    Nothing against Jamaicans or anyone else. It is a simple fact that if too many of one culture dominate in any employer in Cayman, true locals find the work environment less welcome.

    Rather than voting down, get the facts, then make up your mind.

    • wawa says:

      8.58 you are so right.

    • Anonymous says:

      Well said , we are now dominated by Jamaican attitudes wether they call themselves Caymanian or not.

    • Anonymous says:

      The second you wrote “ nothing against Jamaicans” your post was finished

      • Anonymous says:

        So, what is the answer? Do not deflect. Does a single nationality and culture dominate the police, or not? It is a fair and reasonable question, and no amount at attempted deflection will undermine its relevance. I do not give a damn whether the issue is too many Canadians, Jamaicans or Japanese. I simply ask, is there an issue, and if so, how did it arise and what is being done about it?

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