CoP denies using chopper as personal taxi

| 03/05/2019 | 63 Comments
Cayman News Service

Commissioner Byrne and RCIPS Air Support Unit crew with the new helicopter (CLICK TO ENLARGE)

(CNS): Police Commissioner Derek Byrne has denied allegations that appeared on social media Thursday that he used the new Royal Cayman Islands Police Service helicopter to take trips overseas in order to receive an award and attend a funeral. He said the chopper was recently scheduled for a training session over mountains in Jamaica, so he used the opportunity to travel on it to attend a meeting on ganja interdiction with his counterparts there. But he said he did not use the helicopter to go to the award ceremony in the US, which he travelled to on a commercial flight.

Speaking on Rooster’s morning phone-in show, Crosstalk, Friday, the CoP said that Jamaica trip was primarily for the training session, but he was there to meet with members of the Jamaica Defence Force (JDF).

But he admitted that while he was there, he had used the chopper to go to Montego Bay for the funeral of an RCIPS officers family member, and claimed it “would have been unconscionable” not to attend.

Byrne said the helicopter was used only on the understanding that if it was needed back in Cayman, they should leave him and go where they were required. He accepted that he should be questioned and held accountable about these kinds of issues but said that the trip was above-board.

Officials from the governor’s office confirmed that they were aware that the CoP had joined the helicopter crew on the training session and said there were good “operational reasons” for the trip.

A spokesperson for the office said that the training over hilly terrain was a very important part of the chopper’s potential work in other overseas territories where, if required by other islands, it would be flying in very different terrain to that of the Cayman Islands.

The governor’s office explained that the nearest appropriate location to test the equipment was Jamaica. Given that the helicopter was already scheduled to fly there at the time, as Byrne needed to meet with JDF and other law enforcement officials, it was prudent for him to take advantage of the spare seat on the machine.

The officials noted that the helicopter will not be used for general travel for any public servants under normal circumstances (with the exception of royalty) and it was used on this one trip, where Byrne was on duty, only because the training mission was already scheduled.

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Comments (63)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    1. Is Jamaica a British colony when last England provided aid in a natural disaster for Jamaica.
    2. Why not train in the British overseas territory’s since that is where they will be giving assistance.
    Yall need to pay attention when people feeding ya bull.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Send it to the ombudsman office and refer to the RCIPS policy regarding personal use of equipment, vehicles. Ultimately nothing can happen, he only reports to the Governor.

  3. Anonymous says:

    try and learn some sense before you go plopping off ‘ya mout’
    English lessons would be a big help too. are you sure you went to school?

    COCK-AND-BULL STORY | meaning in the Cambridge English …

    cock-and-bull story definition: a story that is obviously not true, especially one given as an excuse: . Learn

  4. Anonymous says:

    Typical English way off doing things he can justify the trip with a ganja meeting, training and a funeral that in case they need the chopper they were instructed to leave him there.
    All im saying is if one of our love ones was lost at sea witch rout y’all think is quicker from the airport here or Jamaica airport ?
    And they invented this thing called video chat were x amount of people can conference call via video link some major companies use it to hold meetings with people from all over the world. Someone should tell our politicians about that too. Stop wasting money flying around for non important meetings.

  5. Anonymous says:

    So, what you’re really saying is… you did indeed use the chopper for personal business.

    “But he admitted that while he was there, he had used the chopper to go to Montego Bay for the funeral of a leading Jamaican law enforcement colleague’s family member…”

  6. Anonymous says:

    And if he paid for a commercial flight the accusers would say that he didn’t want to take the ‘free’ empty copter seat because the flight would be 4 hours vs 35 minutes long.

  7. Anonymous says:

    You idiot its “cock and bull’ story”

  8. Anonymous says:

    What is the big deal? Senior public and civil servants are provided expensive vehicles and gasboy cards for their own personal use, all on the public purse.

  9. Anonymous says:

    This is reminiscent of the rumours going round in 2007 that Stuart Kernohan was using RCIPS time on the Cayman Islands Helicopters Eurocopter to log up hours towards his personal helicopter licence. Not only were they complete BS but the source appeared to be someone fairly high up in RCIPS. I wonder if that’s the case this time?

  10. Say it like it is says:

    Unfortunately smearing successful expatriates In senior positions is a Caymanian custom, possibly to take their minds off all their own department heads who have actually goofed and been dismissed because of it.

    • Anonymous says:

      Seems to me that has been going on towards Caymanians for quite a long time.

    • Anonymous says:

      Someone ought to buy this expat a dictionary
      Its only a smear if it isn’t true

      This story IS in fact TRUE, the CoP just has a convenient explanation to rationalize it

  11. Anonymous says:

    The FCO/British PR machine has clicked in and this issue will just get the standard white wash and that will be that … like why did our previous governor get recalled. Anywhere else in an open and democratic society answers would have been demanded. We are told to be quite and go sit in the corner as second class citizens …. If you think for a moment the mentally in Britain has change to it ‘colonies’ think again ….

  12. Anonymous says:

    I suspect the helicopter flight took at least 4 hrs. Who takes a 4 hr ride in a helicopter when they can take a 35 min plane ride.

    CMR ( complete mass rubbish) strikes again!

  13. Anonymous says:

    Racist Agenda imports. Very disagreeable incriminators.

  14. Anonymous says:

    One thing the RCIPS Air Unit is – a fully trained and professional team that have delivered on many occasions and why they are so highly thought of by many on these Islands and further afield. Let them do what they need to do to stay top of the game and use what seems to be a state of the art machine properly and to it’s full capability. The original story was so far off the reality.

  15. Anonymous says:

    Here we go, the guy is doing a good job and probably coming to the end of contract, so the nonsense starts.

  16. Anonymous says:

    Lol. How many Govt vehicles were used for personal purposes that day? Pretty much all of them I’d say.

  17. Anonymous says:

    Another CoP that thinks Caymanians are totally gullible

  18. Anonymous says:

    Personally I see no problem with what he said assuming it is true. I don’t think it cost more for fuel or cause more wear and tear for him getting a ride up to Jamaica. If the Governor, Premier and the training person for the helicopter agreed with him hitching a ride it should be ok.It is very beneficial for the pilots to get some different type of training just in case they have to take an unexpected trip over similar terrain. Sometimes we need to allow the professionals to make certain decisions. All of us do not have the requisite skills to micro manage everything.

    • Anonymous says:

      10:14 am, don’t you know every lb. On an aircraft causes it to burn more fuel, that’s why they charge extra for baggage. Common sense are not too common anymore.

      • Anonymous says:

        To all of you genius that clicked down to load on aircraft load burns more fuel, why don’t you keep your car loaded up with weight and see if it burns more gas

      • Over Weight says:

        1.25pm Not so with Cayman Airways and Caymanian passengers, only recently have they started charging baggage fees and this upset all the locals. Even now at US20 for a 55lb bag, it’s far cheaper than any other airline and the revenue hardly makes a dent in the massive annual subsidies from all the taxpayers who pay whether they fly or not.

  19. Anonymous says:

    why would Cayman police be training over mountains in their helicopter? Are we expecting Trashmore to officially reach mountain status?

    • Anonymous says:

      It could be used in different countries after a hurricane and they are not all as flat as a pancake like this place hence the training

    • Anonymous says:

      Perhaps if you read the article more carefully…….

    • Anonymous says:

      The Air Unit are expected to respond to the other parts of thje Caribbean. That is why the UK paid part of the cost of this one.

  20. Ron Ebanks says:

    You mean that mount trash more has got so high that Cayman hellecopter Pilot need mountain flying training to fly around it .

    • Anonymous says:

      We Caymanian are so fool that we are paying for the Helicopter but will be also used in the other O S T islands.

      • Anonymous says:

        Paying 75% for the helicopter so it can be used in other countries in emergencies. Think that is going to happen 25% of the time?

  21. Anonymous says:

    Give the man a break, please!

    He’s doing a great job!

  22. Anonymous says:

    So who pays for the fuel to Mobay for the funeral. That was not training.

  23. Sheeple says:

    Ummm. Ok, if you say so.

  24. Anonymous says:

    So much fake news. its so sad that so many people fall for it.

  25. PublicAccountability says:

    I guess there will be a report on the training over “mountains”. Only one OT has mountain and there is no need for any helicopter to fly over them. However, that made-up trianing is way below the COP pay grade.

    It’s also coincidental and unusual the Cayman COP meeting with “JDF”.

    He speaks as if it was by chance he was there and heard about the funeral and it was “unconscionable” for him not to attend.

    No intellegence officer at JDF will believe that story. Incoherent story line.

    • Anonymous says:

      It’s not just BOT’s that Cayman helps after disasters. If Jamaica needed help, we would help them.

  26. Anonymous says:

    Lol. Of course he would.

    • Anonymous says:

      That’s what we call “a cocking bull storey”

      • Anonymous says:

        if you were a true Brit you’d call it a “cock and bull story”, after the two famous Hostelries in which the phrase originates, because of the fanciful tales that originated there.

  27. Anonymous says:

    Good for him. He is serious, and wise.

  28. Anonymous says:

    so when is police gonna stop the drunks from operating high power boats in the north sound? i am a native and refuse to ho out in north sound…almost got cut down the other day …by a drunk.. i followed hom to rum point..he couldnt stand up…soooo drunk?

  29. Amy E. says:

    Can we just legalize the plant already? We have designated smoking spots on government compounds where you can enjoy your imported nicotine laced tobacco cigarettes but imprison me for growing a natural plant.. This will remove the incentive to snuggle it. 2,000+ pounds of it in a year. They would try bringing that amount to just rot!

    Mexico is due to legalize before October. That will sandwich the USA, because above you have Canada fully legal too.. Not to mention the entire west coast of the USA has legalized recreational use. It’s only a matter of time before we follow suit. Why should we still ruin our people’s lives over a medically recognized plant?

    We brag about the medical oil’s pain relieving benefits, but let me tell you I enjoy growing and brewing the tea to cure my depression and Byrne would instruct to handcuff me.

    We claim we’re a Christian country and protest with Bible verses, yet we disregard the verse in the Bible that says that God gave man every herb bearing seed. Sad. It’s really not the plant. Please don’t let a few bad apples ruin the bunch. I could become a lazy bum 100x easier on poisonous alcohol, 7 days a week.

    • Anonymous says:

      Go ahead, knock yourself out. No one really cares if you know better and go and become a lazy bum and poison yourself on alcohol seven days a week. If you have family I guess they will bury you.

  30. Anonymous says:

    A good excuse is better than none.

  31. Anonymous says:

    Was his added helicopter fuel cost (and luggage) less than the free CAL protocol flight he might have taken?

  32. Anonymous says:

    Shame on marl road and other posters for creating even more fake news. Why didn’t they simply do what CNS did? Ask a question before printing. Stupid is as stupid does.

  33. Anonymous says:

    A typical Cayman smear fails.

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