The Royal Cayman Islands Police Service (RCIPS) is a single, national police service with a unified command structure. It is an unarmed service, with an armed response capability, that is mandated by statute to deliver the full range of police services across the Cayman Islands and its territorial waters. Founded in 1907, the RCIPS nowhas 395 police officers and 63 civilian staff, who serve the nearly 60,000 people who live on the islands, as well as the approximately two million people who visit each year. In 2017, RCIPS officers answered 80% of all emergency calls dispatched by the 9-1-1 Communication Centre, and 31,865 calls for service in total, encompassing both 9-1-1 dispatches and reports received through police stations.
Officers and personnel work in a variety of roles, including emergency response, road and marine safety and enforcement, child protection, criminal investigation, intelligence, drug and firearm interdiction, border security, community outreach, finance and administration, and many others. Owing to the geography and small size of the jurisdiction, the RCIPS is mandated to provide several aspects of security and safety in addition to regular policing, such as national security and border control, marine search-and-rescue, and criminal interdictions in territorial waters, which would not come within the remit of municipal police forces of analogous size in larger jurisdictions. Therefore, while the number of police officers may be higher per capita than in larger countries, the RCIPS is relatively small considering the scope of its responsibilities and breadth of policing duties. Its personnel are likewise versatile in their skill sets.
Safety and Community Partnerships
The Cayman Islands is a described as a relatively safe jurisdiction in the Caribbean region by both official and private sector sources, with a low incidence of violent crime or crimes affecting tourists. The RCIPS attributes its many successes to the tenacity and versatility of its hardworking officers and staff, but also to the enthusiasm and involvement of the members of the community it serves. The community of the Cayman Islands boasts a large number of charitable and community organizations for its small size, some of which partner with the RCIPS toward public safety objectives (see Partnerships). The RCIPS views community partnerships like these as the foundation for sustainable reductions in crime, but also as essential for national resilience in the face of major emergencies or natural disasters, during which trust and cooperation between the public and law enforcement is vital. As a police organization, the care, protection and trust of the public is the core objective of all that we do, and this objective drives our policing plans and our corporate Vision, Mission and Values, which are intended to guide our officers in all of their interactions with the public.
The RCIPS has a unified command structure based in the policing model of the United Kingdom, with nine ranks for police officers, from the Commissioner of Police to Auxiliary Constable, in the following order:
- Deputy Commissioner
- Chief Inspector
The prefix “detective” is given to officers who are assigned to conduct criminal investigations after completing the necessary selection and training process. Detective ranks run parallel to uniformed ranks, and range from Detective Constable to Detective Superintendent.
The RCIPS divides its policing of the jurisdiction both geographically and functionally, across three main departments. These are Uniform and District Operations, Uniform Specialist Operations, and Criminal Investigations (Detective). General shift policing by uniformed officers, which includes response to 9-1-1 calls for service all over the islands, as well as traffic enforcement and community policing, falls under Uniform and District Operations, as does the general policing duties of officers assigned to police stations throughout the district and operating under the command of the district inspector (area commander). Policing duties requiring additional training and expertise fall under Uniform Specialist Operations, e.g., firearm response, marine or air operations, and K-9, who also work shift patterns. All remaining operational units are staffed by detectives and perform specialized investigative functions, and fall under Criminal Investigations.
In addition to the organization of its policing departments, the overall administration of the organization is considered to be RCIPS Management, which operates from Police Headquarters at Elizabethan Square. RCIPS Management includes finance and business administration, human resources, media and communications, estate management and strategic management. Other administrative departments such as the Crime Analysis Unit, which oversees the organization’s crime record management, and the Criminal Records Office and Security and Firearms Licensing Unit, which also manage records and administration, also fall broadly in this category and are staffed by a mix of police officers and civilians.
Diversity and Recruitment
The RCIPS reflects the diversity of the community it serves, with officers and staff of 19 different nationalities. While the organization embraces this diversity as a strength, it also engages in regular recruitment drives aimed at increasing the number of Caymanians among its ranks in order to ensure adequate representation of the local community. Applications for local Police Constables are accepted on an ongoing basis on this website and the RCIPS urges interested Caymanians to be in touch with our Human Resources department with any questions. Recruitment for the Special Constabulary and other vacancies will also be posted on this website going forward, and the RCIPS welcomes applications from qualified people with a commitment to the public safety of the Cayman Islands.
 As of April 2018
 U.S. State Department, https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/international-travel/International-Travel-Country-Information-Pages/CaymanIslands.html; TripSavvy https://www.tripsavvy.com/safest-and-most-dangerous-caribbean-islands-1488165;Oyster https://www.oyster.com/articles/54600-the-8-safest-travel-destinations-in-the-caribbean-right-now/