On Saturday 1st of November 2014, law enforcement agencies in the Sister Islands received a boost to their ability to deter criminal activity and improve safety and security through the extended presence of the Joint Marine Unit (JMU). From its base of operations in Cayman Brac, the unit’s primary purpose is to provide search and rescue, maritime security and border protection operations specifically for the sister Islands.
The Joint Marine Unit (Cayman Brac) detachment, or JMU-CYB as it has been designated, consists of one dedicated patrol vessel and a team of officers from the Immigration Department, HM Customs & Excise, the RCIPS and Department of Environment.
“We are aware that with limited maritime patrols the likelihood of drugs, guns and illegal persons being introduced into our community increases and the JMU-CYB detachment is an important part of our response to mitigate these risks and threats,” stated Insp. Ian Yearwood, commander of the JMU. “The particular vessel selected for this deployment is equipped to allow us to successfully operate in various scenarios, while ensuring both the safety of its operators and other persons who may be onboard.
The vessel which is called “Typhoon” can be launched from multiple locations on the Island and can operate within the confines of the reef, on open water at extended ranges, as well as in adverse conditions.
“The presence of the Joint Marine Unit will greatly enhance the border protection and search and rescue capabilities in the Sister Islands,” said Deputy Premier and Sister Islands representative Hon. Moses Kirkconnell. “The Joint Marine Unit will also provide invaluable assistance to the tourism sector which attracts numerous visitors, particularly divers, to our shores each year. Should an unfortunate incident arise at sea, having a professional unit available in the local area that can quickly and efficiently respond, makes a significant difference when timing is a factor. I commend the collaboration of officers from all of the respective law enforcement agencies and look forward to working with them for the benefit of our Sister Islands residents and visitors.”
Detective Superintendent Robert Scotland, and officer responsible for the Specialist Operations portfolio in which the JMU resides, stated that he was pleased to see a JMU presence in the Sister Islands. “I am confident that we will see positive results from having a presence there. One of the immediate benefits we have already seen is the improved working relationship between the officers from the Police, Customs, Immigration and Department of Environment who form the core JMU-CYB team. There is a lot of synergy here and the team is coming together very nicely.”
The RCIPS wishes to thank the Ministries of District Administration and Home Affairs, District Commissioner Ernie Scott and his team and all of the other persons who worked behind the scenes to establish the unit and make this project a reality.
IMAGE: (supplied) Typhoon