The RCIPS is pleased to announce two new developments this month that are expected to enhance the already strong working relationship that the Community Policing Department has been building with the public.
Late last week the RCIPS received a donation of twenty-two smart phones from Cayman Crime Stoppers, which promises to improve the connectivity of each community officer to the beats in which he or she works. Now every beat officer in the Community Policing Department will have a work-issued mobile device which they can use to access their work email, participate in Whatsapp groups, and field phone calls from members of the community.
“We are extremely grateful for this donation of mobile phones from Crime Stoppers to our community policing efforts,” said Courtney Myles, Head of the Community Policing Department, “it is really encouraging to be supported in this way in what we are trying to achieve. These phones will enable our officers to be in better contact with the neighborhood watches and residents on their beat, and help us deliver the service the community is asking for.”
The RCIPS is publishing the new mobile numbers for all beat officers on their beat pages on the RCIPS website. Community Officers will respond to calls and messages they receive during their tours of duty, and ask residents in their beat to send them a text or Whatsapp message if the phone is not answered, or follow up with an email (all officers’ emails can also be found on their beat page). Emergency calls should always be directed to 9-1-1, and not to these mobile numbers.
“Officers are excited to explore the use of smart phones specifically as tools for community policing,” added Inspector Myles, “which means better communication with residents but also the ability to receive photos and information quickly. Clearly an officer cannot answer the phone non-stop, and will need to develop his or her own guidelines around how they use it. But it is another very important way for our officers to be more connected and responsive to the communities they serve.”
Alongside this donation of phones, the RCIPS is announcing the deployment of additional officers to Beats 1 and 2, East End and North Side. Two new officers have joined each beat on a permanent basis, bringing the total number of community officers in the two districts to four each, in addition to the Sergeant who oversees both beats. The officers will fulfill dual roles as community officers and as responding officers to local 9-1-1 calls for service.
“These reinforcements are a recognition of the fact that police responding to the Eastern Districts from George Town or Bodden Town cannot be as swift as needed, and that residents in those districts need a police response on par with the rest of the island,” said Derek Byrne, Commissioner of Police, “by basing an additional two officers per district we are moving in the direction of providing all residents in Grand Cayman with the connectivity to the police that they need.”
The officers are working out of the police sub-stations in East End and North Side, and will fall under the commands of both the Area Commander for the Eastern Districts, Inspector Winsome Prendergast, as well as the Head of the Community Policing Department, Inspector Courtney Myles. With the addition of staff to the Eastern Districts, fixed hours at the sub-stations are being planned and will be announced shortly.
“We expect that these positive developments will help the reach and impact of our community policing efforts on the islands, and we look forward to the results these efforts can have in terms of crime prevention and public safety,” added Commissioner Byrne.