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Published 13th June 2018, 3:57pm

A Customs Basic Training Course for 12 new Customs officers commenced on Monday 4th June 2018 following a recent recruitment drive. 

The new officers will undergo 18 weeks of training which will cover an array of subjects including, but not limited to: the relevant laws and conventions, investigative techniques, arrest and exhibit handling procedures, revenue and ethics in law enforcement.

In preparation for the planned 2019 merger of the Customs and Immigration departments into a single Border Protection Agency, both departments have embarked on a strategy to cross train Customs and Immigration officers. Consequently, 4 new Immigration officers have joined their Customs colleagues on this course.

During his address to the Class of 2018 at the official opening on Monday 4th June, Collector of Customs Charles Clifford focused his comments on the subject of ethics in law enforcement and advised the new officers that they would learn more about this during their 18 weeks in training. 

Collector Clifford said, “I am particularly pleased that we were able to attract well over 300 applicants during this last recruitment drive and that the 12 new Customs officers which emerged from that competitive process, collectively bring with them a good combination of skills, qualifications and experience that will benefit the department, and ultimately the public. The group includes 4 former police officers with substantial law enforcement experience and this will no doubt enhance the learning opportunities for the class and benefit the organisation as a whole.”

Acting Chief Immigration Officer Bruce Smith said “While joint training initiatives involving Customs and Immigration officers are not new, certainly Immigration officers scheduled as participants in a Customs Basic Training Course marks a momentous occasion and indeed signals the beginning of a planned strategy to introduce a single entity at the borders in the Cayman Islands. Similarly, there will be cross training and sensitisation opportunities in Entry and Landing and other border control techniques and applications.”     

The Class of 2018 is expected to graduate this August and will then be deployed to active duty in the various sections of the Customs and Immigration departments.