Safety officers take to streets

| 21/10/2019 | 33 Comments
  • Cayman New Service
  • Cayman News Service

(CNS): As the RCIPS launches its new Community Safety Officers (CSOs) branch, eleven men and women have completed their induction course and will begin patrolling their communities next month. These recruits are not police officers but civilian wardens tasked with identifying issues of concern and helping to bridge the gap between the police and public. They will each be deployed in a specific district, where they will work to problem solve and address local issues.

The CSOs have been provided with a unique uniform and specific vehicles, which are clearly marked to identify them as community safety officers, the RCIPS stated in a press release about the new wardens. West Bay, Bodden Town and George Town will each have three safety officers, East End and Cayman Brac will each have one, while the RCIPS continues to recruit an officer for North Side.

“With one exception, each CSO actually lives in the district they will be working in,” said Superintendent of Uniform Operations Robert Graham, explaining that this will result in each one having “a vested interest in what’s going on” and a real commitment to address the issues that the community believes are important.

Graham said it would create a real and very tangible difference to the way the police work. “It will build upon our ability to identify local issues and also improve our responsiveness through enhanced working relationships within local communities. This is about really focusing on those issues that cause the local community the most concern and addressing those concerns through an improved partnership approach,” he added.

The CSOs will be deployed based on local requirements for up to twenty hours per week, which will be directed by Inspector Courtney Myles who is in charge of the Community Policing Department.

“I am extremely delighted to see the launch of the Community Safety Officer programme, which will come under my management, as they are now part of the RCIPS community policing team,” he said “It will enhance public safety while building on our community partnerships. I see this as a positive step in the community and have no doubt it will make a real difference to the Cayman Islands.”

Premier Alden McLaughlin announced the plan to introduce community safety officers early in this administration and the issue was approved by the National Security Council last year.

“Tackling crime was a major campaign issue for all of us in government,” McLaughlin said in the release. “As such, we budgeted some $270 million for national security and committed to putting into place a dedicated community policing programme. We have seen that community policing does make a difference and as such I welcome this new Community Safety Officer programme,” he added.

Maintaining that his government was doing what was needed to support the RCIPS, he said he was satisfied that the current commissioner and his management team were taking the administration’s commitment to keep communities safe and to reduce gun crime seriously.

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Category: Crime, Crime Prevention, Police

Comments (33)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    So they are just there to call the actual police if anything happens?

    • Anonymous says:

      Can I make a suggestion? I worked for years in the inner city public school system. We had CSO’s that worked in connection with the local police. The were at the high school during the day, during sporting events and around the local parks. They made connections with the students at the school( not at first, but over time). Then, sporting events developed between police vs. at- risk students , fire dept. risk students and these were held at night in local park( police making connections thru sports while keeping them out of trouble at night). These games developed into teams forming and now many organizations and students involved.
      CSO’s can make many connections- have an open mind.

  2. Anonymous says:

    $270,000,000 budget for “look-the-other-way” policing by green recruits, and how much budgeted on mental health, and drug treatment programs, which might otherwise offset violent crime, and hit the dark gang-led transshipment economies? #crickets

  3. Anonymous says:

    Do the CSOs have to pass the fitness test that recruit police officers do?

  4. Anonymous says:

    When a tourist see’s someone in this CSO vehicle and flags them down for help, example medical emergency, I hope they can help because the perception will be that they can help, if someone dies as a result of inaction you can bet a lawsuit will be the result.

    • Anonymous says:

      I’ve (patiently) received full-time career detectives to my property, for an investigation at night, that between the three of them, and two marked vehicles, didn’t have a working flashlight, pen, or pad to write on. I had to hand them my own phone with single LED light. True story.

  5. SafetySecurityNo1 says:

    As someone who worked in Law Enforcement for year, I would say this is the most ridiculous thing RCIPS have ever come up with.

    The current community officers they announced a while ago when you call all those in the chain of command, no response.

    So now, they have civilians with less authority to look into what police should be dealing with from the start. It sounds good as a program however, I see issues. Those civilians are being exposed to certain danger.

    CSO: Police HQ this is CSO1 WB, (running and tired) please send help… being chased by man with machete..

    Police : CSO please run faster, officer just went to buy pizza.

    CSO: No kidding me!!!

    Police: Kidding!!! Send your GPS…

    CSO: You know what, I’ll figure this out!!! At Home.

    • PPM wasting money says:

      Agree waste of time and money. PPM not even smart enough to buy votes. They all look like expats. If they were Caymanians they would have said so. Why are we creating jobs for expats?

  6. Wan says:

    How many Caymanians? Asking for a friend…

    • Anonymous says:

      Check back in a few years. That’s how the GOV does it….they will make them all Caymanian and then brag about them being Caymanian.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Boy Government just be looking new ways to spend the money they say they don’t have lmfao smh.

  8. Anonymous says:

    i’m an ‘undercover cso’…and report lots of crimes to the police farce. they do nothing.

  9. Anonymous says:

    With a $270,000,000 budget, on an island 10×20, with no F-22 Raptor jets or submarine fleet, how can there be any performance gap (at all) to fill? Who takes ownership for the existence of said gap – arguably the most critical aspect to public service, and the whole reason the RCIPS budget has ballooned to these paramilitary proportions?!? For context: our tiny island police budget is MORE than the US Gov’t’s entire military pledge to a Ukraine under military siege. More than the entire settlement for the OxyContin opioid scandal…

  10. Cayman crime watch says:

    Total and utter waste of money how much more are we going to spend on this rinky dink police force filled with non Citizens. this is foolishness that needs to stop Cayman for 65,000 people this totally outrageous now! Our politicians are a national disgrace and completely useless for excepting this crap every year from those sent here to do policing! We cannot afford to keep subsidizing others economic wishes with no results it’s certainly not stopping crime or criminal activity or we wouldn’t be experimenting with this type foolishness.

    • Anonymous says:

      Thanks for your support. As a serving member of RCIPS it is really disheartening hearing from armchair experts who have a tenuous grip on the reality of policing here.

      Please join yourself, or become a special. We eagerly await your help and wisdom.

      • Anonymous says:

        Well there you have it from PC Anon: $270,000,000 only buys a tenuous grip in Grand Cayman. Here’s an idea: maybe if some of your 400 full time colleagues were to leave the clubhouse and deploy into the community in the vehicles we’ve bought you, to do police work, it would become less tenuous?!

        • Anonymous says:

          You do realise that the 400 people are spread between response units, firearms, drugs squad, k9, family support, CID, financial crimes, traffic, air unit, marine unit?

          Like I said, maybe you should join up and help to improve the service.

          As for anonymity, yes, it kind of has to be that way. I’m sure you understand.

          • Jotnar says:

            You do realise that the amount of cash at your disposal would buy far better a services elsewhere, right? Portland Oregon has a population 10 times the size of Cayman, yet a police force only 3 times bigger, and a budget $37 million LESS!.

            And for that money they provide all the services you mention, plus all the bells and whistles including a SWAT team, child abuse team, and a proper forensics team. An average response time to urgent calls of less than 9 minutes from call to officer on site, and each full time officer dealing with over 240 incidents a year. Appreciate that costs in Portland are lower, but 3 times the officers for $37m less? Even if costs are 100% higher in the States, 1/3rd of the Portland PD headcount – rough;ly the same as RCIPs headcount – would cost over $100m less.

            Perhaps its down to budget control and a tight run ship where those in charge make sure officers get out and do the job. Love to see the RCIPS equivalent measures – do you even track them?

      • Anonymous says:

        I served as a special. I could no longer tolerate the nepotism and incompetence. You are a part of a police force that not only fails but too often refuses to enforce the law.

        • Anonymous says:

          Everywhere I’ve ever worked, I’ve been alongside incompetent people. That’s life. As for nepotism, see above, just understand in Cayman it’s prevalent everywhere.

  11. Anonymous says:

    We are an ungrateful lot when it comes to the efforts RCIPS are forever doing to keep crime under control and bridge the gap between the community and police . Have a look at our TCI friends to the North and see what they are going thru with Murders and arm robberies out of control. Look southeast of us at our close neighbor where 34 killings took place last week alone. The biggest social threat to our beautiful islands is this nonchalant attitude of having children born out of wedlock / partnership union and therefore creating an offspring of feral youths with no future in sight.

  12. Anonymous says:

    Another politically-driven (Premier) initiative with RCIPS stamp. The politicization of the RCIPS.

  13. Anonymous says:

    Where can we get a list of who the safety officers are in each area and how to contact them?

    • Anonymous says:

      Is there one for Red Bay, Prospect, Bodden Town?
      Three of these vehicles parked at Hurleys around 12.30 today. All having lunch or getting to know which community members?!!

  14. Coastal watcher says:

    A national Coast Guard an a coastal surveillance program would have simply made more sense. Stop wasting our money Alden on vote getting employment schemes run by political appointees.

  15. Cayman Distress Signal says:

    CSO Cayman Spy officers with the millions$$$$ we have spent on this foreign manned police Force the highest per capita in the world for a 66,000 population.Now we need civilians to bridge the gap between the police and public WOW!!! We need an audit not Civilian Spy Ops now running round burning more gas in government vehicles spying on people in the community and carrying out personal grudges and vendettas and looking out for family members or members of their own tribe like some who are hired now are clearly up to nowadays. What exactly does National Security has to do with this please tell us?? How much did we spend on community policing exactly please don’t come with more foolishness when it is abundantly clear we need to protect our borders and stop importing criminal elements from overseas and carry out proper vetting and screening of all who arrive on our shores.

  16. Anonymous says:

    Be interesting to see how this works out. In the UK they have PCSOs (Police Community Support Officers). One constabulary recently discovered they weren’t actually costing much less than recruiting regular officers so axed all their PCSOs. The money saved was then used to recruit more police officers and a number of civilian support staff. By all accounts nobody in the area’s noticed any difference. It was headline news for a couple of months they quietly forgotten.

  17. Anonymous says:

    No, we know that these members recruited are not trained Police Officers and certainly not fire arms trained. However, I think the introduction of this Community Safety Officer Programme will be an asset and a valuable link between the public and RCIPS. I feel residents will at least feel reassured that there is a team patrolling their area keeping an eye on what’s going on and someone that they can approach with their worries and concerns. It’s like the old Home Guard that was in place in the U.K. during the war days, and like the team they have in the US patrolling the underground tube trains. This team, too, will prove themselves invaluable in time. Like a safety net, especially for the elderly and vulnerable. They will be an extra pair of eyes and something the criminal element on this island will in no doubt be weary of. This cannot be a bad thing considering the vast amount of crime here. Don’t knock RCIPS for employing this team, unless of course you are part of that unsavoury criminal element yourselves. I want to reiterate that there maybe 400 Police Officers within RCIPS, but I can assure you, they are part of different departments for different crimes and certainly not all out on the road. You all need to support RCIPS in wanting to put in place whoever they see fit to help combatting crime. More boots on the road doing this good work is definitely an improvement to help keep Cayman and it’s residents safe in their beds. Well done RCIPS!!

  18. Anonymous says:

    What is the advertised pay scale.

  19. Anonymous says:

    So the newest, greenest, unarmed, untrained community volunteers are being thrust into the role of directing this community enforcement effort to reduce gun crime, despite all the experience in the extensive senior management suite, 400+ full time cops, countless vehicles, and a $270mln budget…smh. If this is the best RCIPS idea, then we need a new Commissioner, and enactment of SIPL to find out where our money is actually going! Appalling!

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