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Home / Local News / Irishman Derek Byrne appointed Commissioner of Police

Irishman Derek Byrne appointed Commissioner of Police

Irishman Derek Patrick Byrne has been named Cayman’s new Commissioner of Police.
Irishman Derek Patrick Byrne has been named Cayman’s new Commissioner of Police.

Vows to deliver “a modern, progressive and professional policing service”

Irishman Derek Patrick Byrne is this country’s new Commissioner of Police.

HE Governor Helen Kilpatrick ended weeks of speculation on Friday (19 August) when she announced Mr Byrne’s appointment in a brief media statement which stated that Cayman’s top cop will assume office from November 2016 on a four year contract.

She said his appointment follows a “rigorous recruitment process” conducted by a panel comprising of herself as the Chair, Deputy Governor Hon Franz Manderson, Commissioner of Police of Bermuda DeSilva, Donald Seymour (recommended by the Premier) and Dr Linford Pierson OBE JP (recommended by the Leader of the Opposition).

Former Commissioner of Police David Baines demitted office one year ahead of the expiration of his contract. He left under a cloud of controversy and at time when the RCIPS was under fire for its response to the search and rescue efforts for five Caymanians, two of whom were children, lost at sea in March.
Former Commissioner of Police David Baines demitted office one year ahead of the expiration of his contract. He left under a cloud of controversy and at time when the RCIPS was under fire for its response to the search and rescue efforts for five Caymanians, two of whom were children, lost at sea in March.

Mr Byrne’s appointment comes some four months after former Commissioner, Briton David Baines, demitted office one year shy of completing his contract. Deputy Police Commissioner Anthony Ennis was named acting Commissioner following Mr Baines departure.
The new Commissioner Byrne, through the statement, said he was greatly honoured and delighted to have been selected as the next Commissioner of Police for the Royal Cayman Islands Police Service.

He vowed to “immerse” himself in the community and in the policing of the islands.

“I look forward to working with Her Excellency the Governor, the Government of the Cayman Islands and with the men and women of the RCIPS to deliver a modern, progressive and professional policing service to all people of the Islands; a service that meets the expectations of the Islands’ communities. The highest level of community support and partnership is critical to realising these objectives,” Commissioner Byrne said in the statement.

The Cayman Reporter reached out to Premier Hon Alden McLaughlin for comment on the appointment on Friday afternoon. However up to press time no response had been received.

Governor Kilpatrick, in her statement on Friday, said she was “delighted that we have such a distinguished police officer of Mr. Byrne’s calibre joining the RCIPS at a time when the people of the Cayman Islands continue to seek better service from public entities.”

She welcomed the new top cop as she said she looked “forward to his experience and expertise making a positive impact on the role of the RCIPS in the Cayman Islands.”

Mr Byrne, the statement said, is a highly experienced police leader who has risen through the ranks over his 36 year career as a police officer.

“He comes to the Cayman Islands after eight years as Assistant Commissioner with Ireland’s National Police Service where he held the operational, strategic and business lead for serious and organised crime,” the release stated.

Mr Byrne, speaking on his plans for Cayman, said, the complexity of policing leadership, by its very nature, “brings with it great responsibility to lead with confidence, inspiration and integrity” and he is “committed to ensuring that the RCIPS will work in partnership with communities across the Cayman Islands to deliver a policing service that has the trust and confidence of the communities it serves.”

“A service that is accessible, visible, mobile and responsive, where policing is delivered in a transparent, accountable and ethical framework supported by robust governance structures,” he added.

He plans to hit the ground running this coming November as he said within his first month he will visit all of the Islands “to meet with community leaders, community groups and business leaders to obtain a first-hand account of policing requirements on the Islands which will feed into and inform future strategic planning and the direction of the policing service.”

In March, prior to his departure, Mr Baines, as well as the RCIPS, came under heavy fire following concerns raised about the search and rescue efforts by the police when five people, including two children, were lost at sea in March.

On 6 March Caymanians Gary Mullings, Edsell Haylock, Nicholas Watler and brothers Kamron and Kanyi Brown went out to sea on a fishing trip which went tragically wrong. They reportedly experienced engine trouble while at sea. Their overturned vessel was later recovered. The five still remain unaccounted for up to this date.

Who is Derek Patrick Byrne?

In his last assignment as Assistant Commissioner for eight years with the Irish National Police Service, Mr. Derek Byrne held the national remit for tackling serious and organised crime and also had the strategic lead on international criminal investigations undertaken in that jurisdiction.

He was responsible for managing eight specialised crime divisions and over 700 staff, focusing on up-skilling staff, standardising and professionalising investigative training to ensure a cohesive effort and uniform approach while delivering improved service.

He also had responsibility for legal and ethical accountability, human rights compliance as well as operational and strategic business performance for all of the services under his command.

In 2013 Mr. Byrne successfully completed the prestigious FBI National Executive Institute Leadership Programme designed for world police leaders at the FBI National Academy Quantico, Virginia, USA.  He holds a BA (Hons) degree in Police Management and is currently completing a Master’s degree programme at Queens University, Belfast in the School of International Politics, studying violence, terrorism and security.

 

About Reshma Ragoonath

Reshma Ragoonath is a Trinidadian journalist with over 15 years experience. She was previously employed as a Senior Reporter with the Sunday Guardian, after having spent a number of years at the Trinidad Guardian, San Fernando Bureau. She has worked as Head of News at Heritage Radio 101.7FM in Trinidad and was a part-time journalism and communication lecturer with the College of Science, Technology and Applied Arts of Trinidad and Tobago (COSTATT.) She holds an Associate Degree in Journalism and Public Relations and a Bachelor in Mass Communications from COSTAATT.

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