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Published 19th November 2002, 1:46pm

With a dual responsibility for protecting our borders as well as the largest source of government revenue, young Customs officers honed their skills over recent weeks during the Junior Officer Basic Course.

The nine participants had joined the department over the past year. They were given one-month of in-depth training on a range of specialized issues.

At their recent ceremony Deputy Collector of Customs Collie Powery and Assistant Financial Secretary Deborah Drummond presented graduation certificates. The officials praised the participants on their efforts in the classroom, during this important phase of their learning process. The also emphasised maintaining the balance between customer service and enforcement.

"The real test is being able to transfer your learning to the job, remembering that we are civil servants and our duty to serve customers while at the same time protecting our Islands from illegal importation of contraband," said Mr. Powery.

This is the fifth year that the junior officers’ course has been held in the Cayman Islands. The Caribbean Customs Law Enforcement Council (CCLEC) Course was conducted by CCLEC regional trainer Andy Fernelon of St. Lucia. Also presenting were Cayman Islands Customs’ Training Manager Langlie Powery, and other senior officers.

Participating were Tate McFarlane (Cayman Brac), Tina Ambersley, Don parsons, Lelith Bodden, Arthur Carter, Crystal McFlield, Sheena Atkinson and Jeremy Miller. They sat four examinations during the course, and the average class result was over 70-percent.

The top students were Ms. Ambersley, who placed first, followed by Mr. Parsons and Miss McField. Areas covered included legislation, situation diffusion, warehousing, vehicle and aircraft searches, arrest, detention and seizure, ethical behaviour, firearms handling and accounts. There were also field trips to the airport and marine patrols.

The ceremony was followed by a social gathering with colleagues and senior officers.