The month of March is celebrated worldwide as International Women’s month and today, Tuesday 8th March, is recognised as International Women’s Day. In light of this the RCIPS would like to highlight the first ever all-women-parade that took place on Sunday 6th February in honour of Her Majesty the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee.
During the parade, Inspector Wendy Parchment was selected as the Commissioner of Police’s designate, and the contingent, consisting of over 25 women within the service, was led by Sergeant Keren Watson. The colour party on the parade was led by newly promoted Detective Sergeant Camica Parker and included several other experienced officers.
Inspector Wendy Parchment stated, “Law enforcement, specifically policing, around the world, has traditionally been a male dominated field. So, to have been selected to participate, as the Commissioner of Police’s designate, in the first ever all women’s parade in the history of the Royal Cayman Islands Police Service, was my distinct honour and pleasure. The fact that it was to commemorate the Queen's Platinum Jubilee made it even more special.”
The contingent of women was comprised of police officers from various ranks and areas within the service, including detectives from investigative units, community police officers, firearm officers, patrol officers, traffic officers and even some officers who hold administrative roles.
Sergeant Keren Watson stated, “Preparing for the parade was challenging as a lot of the ladies involved had not done drill for quite some time. We had to practice for hours at a time for several days leading up to the parade. We wanted to ensure that we were as sharp as possible for this historic event.”
One officer, PC Arissa McKenzie with the George Town Police Station, who has only been a police officer with the RCIPS since 2019, said, “Being amongst the youngest members of the RCIPS, with less experience than the others, I was very proud to have been a part of the contingent in the All-Women Parade for Her Majesty the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee. I felt a sense of honour throughout the parade and even during the rehearsals. Working with the RCIPS has been a challenging but rewarding experience for me, I recommend that other women consider policing within their realm of possibilities when considering their careers, because the opportunities are vast for both development and upward mobility.”
“On behalf of the Senior Leadership Team, I would like to thank everyone who took the time out to organise this event, train our female officers for parade and those in the background ensuring everything ran as smoothly as possible,” says Deputy Chief Officer Mrs. Nancy Barnard, “The women made us proud and took us one step closer in securing our service amongst the others in line with the Deputy Governor’s goal of becoming a World Class Civil Service, by displaying inclusion and gender equality, which is of particular importance to the Commissioner of Police, Derek Byrne. Women comprise about 50% of the population and we are focussed on our policing service better reflecting that demographic.”
A short video was produced to commemorate the historic event, including comments from the Governor and Inspector Parchment. The video can be viewed at: https://youtu.be/PcfaGJkxptQ