Sponsorship of police business cards

| 25/04/2016 | 9 Comments

Today the police responded to a vehicle break-in. The officer presented his business card for contact information. On the back of the card was an advertisement for a certain security company. When he saw the look on my face he said that they had sponsored his business cards. Is this even legal or ethical in Cayman?


Auntie’s answer: Given the nature of the question, I think it would be very helpful if the reader who sent in this query would scan and email the card to either the police or to me. I hope you don’t take offence but, as I am sure you understand, without seeing the business card, there is no way to corroborate your account.

The fact that you say the ad was for a security company gives Auntie great pause because of the ethical issues that would create. I wonder if it is possible that you might be mistaken about a private company being promoted on a police officer’s business card. Therefore, I would very much like to see the card the police officer handed to you before I work myself into any sort of tizzy.

Commissioner of Police David Baines offered some clarification but also wanted to know the name of the business on the card that the reader was given as well as the officer involved. Specifically when it comes to the cards officers use, Mr Baines explained that a sponsorship arrangement exists with Cayman Crime Stoppers, the registered charity which receives anonymous tips and information about crimes and passes those to the police.

“Crime Stoppers have sponsored the police business cards, and on the rear their contact details are provided together with the badge of one of their main sponsors which is Cayman National (Cayman National Bank),” he said.

For this specific arrangement, Mr Baines added, “I have approved that linkage and sponsorship as it saves public money, provides better information and contact details of officers for the public, and endorses the actions of the Crime Stoppers charity. I am unaware of other sponsors of the type described, and would need to see the described document to see if such was approved or would be supported.”

While I’ll assume from Mr Baines’ answer that the practice is, indeed, legal, I can’t help but question the wisdom of carrying a corporate logo on a police officer’s card. In fact, I actually did pose that question to the RCIPS and a police official responded that “all charities function on sponsorships … and this would solidly fall within a police and wider community partnership”, meaning both the non-profit and business community.

I understand the need for Crime Stoppers to have sponsorship and for the charity to promote the logo of its benefactor, but it does seem a bit odd for the police business cards also to carry the logo of a private business.

If the reader would like to send the police commissioner a copy of the card, here is Mr Baines’ email address.

If you would prefer to send me the copy, I would be happy to follow up.

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Category: Ask Auntie

Comments (9)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Here is an update. I sent a copy of a photo copy along with some other details I had of the card to Mr Baines and to this point have had no reply that he has even received it. (perhaps everyone with a .ky address gets sent to his junk mail folder…lol) I also sent a copy to Wendy who also hasn’t responded so not sure if its me or them. Let me know if you did not receive my email please.

    CNS: Yes, Wendy received the copy of the card – thank you very much for that. We are following up on this and we, too, have sent the copy to David Baines.

  2. Anonymous says:

    I once had a fender bender and the first cop to arrive said we must wait for another to process it. He eventually appeared and then proceeded to give me a business car for an autobody shop on island that “would take care of me”. Guaranteed that cop is getting a kickback for referring business their way. Not right at all.

  3. Volunteer says:

    We have had our home broken into three times (two different locations) and one of our vehicles stolen, and never once did an officer have a card to give me. When trying to call the station to follow up, they will not give us a direct number for the officer and we have to keep calling back and hoping he is around the station, which he never is. Consider yourself lucky you got anything (however inappropriate it is)!

    • Anonymous says:

      I understand that they really do need to communicate better. If the business card had perhaps a company with no connection to policing (security / Insurance company etc) then I wouldn’t have been so shocked. However if it is perceived that the private sector is sponsoring the police then it could open up the door for favoritism. Unfortunately we have already experienced this in the security industry with a certain company getting large projects pretty well handed to them. The police already have that same security company that sponsors their neighborhood meetings and this is not tendered out for others security companies to participate. This is very dangerous and leads to if not is corruption.

      Some of the problems with communication is the rolling shifts that they work. Sometimes they will roll out from day shift to night shift and then you cannot contact them easily. These rolling shifts are a very dangerous practice that many private sector companies have eliminated due to health and concentration/memory issues. Not really something I would want to impose on a Police Officer. Could you imagine living without a proper sleep pattern….not good at all.

  4. Anonymous says:

    This is outrageous! But Government would not seem to recognize that or care! During the last World Cup, Our Premier was seen in TV ads for a private company boldly wearing their T-shirts displaying their logo!!

    For PPM, ethics, transparency and good governance only matter when it relates to McKeeva and Co !!

  5. Anonymous says:

    Absolutely no surprise there………

  6. Anonymous says:

    This is the sender. I gave the card to a higher ranking officer to have a chat with the individual because I thought that would be better than getting him in hot water. However since I have not heard anything on the follow up I will also send an email to Mr Baines and yourself with a scan I took of the card. Both Sides. The company in question is located in the strand. I am also concerned that Crime Stoppers in Cayman is not completely a charitable organization but a front for promotion of the sponsoring company. NO Names but we know who they are.

  7. Anonymous says:

    I bet if the story is true, (probably is) it’s one of those private security companies that pays their employees $5.00 CI per hour. If I’m wrong, it could be one of those who got the multi million dollar contract for supplying equipment that only works during daylight hours.

    As if crime only happens during daylight hours and not after the sunset ? Yeah Right !!

    That’s another investigation that the Auditor General needs to undertake to see if the people got it’s value for money ??

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