New Immigration Officers
Four new Immigration recruits proved that success is their top priority last Friday (5 June 2015) after completing an intensive 12-month training programme.
Qualifying as full-fledged Immigration Officers, Stephanie Jackson, Jonathan Myrie, Darcia Phillips- Branch and Karena Wright received badges, epaulettes and certificates at the graduation ceremony held at The Family Life Center.
Welcoming the new group, who will augment the department's deployments at the Cayman Islands' air and sea ports, Acting Chief Immigration Officer (CIO) Bruce Smith welcomed the new officers as he encouraged a service mentality, characterized by teamwork, courtesy, respect and positive attitudes for both internal and external customers. This Mr. Smith maintains is the mandate of the civil service. He further explained the great effort and cost in involved in training and preparing the recruits for service.
The group received practical and theoretical cross-training with other uniformed agencies that ranged from interviewing techniques to the proper use of a baton. They were also required to have a command of local immigration laws, as well as an understanding of human behaviour, through team building and conflict resolution training skills.
Officer Karena Wright walked away with both awards for overall achievement and highest academic achievement.
Addressing the graduates, Deputy Governor Franz Manderson, said, "You must wear your uniform with pride and it is important to have consistency in the application of the law". He encouraged officers " to jump at opportunities to work extra hours or take on challenging assignments- this is how you get noticed by your managers and this can lead to promotions. It is important that you always provide a warm Caymanian welcome to our visitors- no matter what kind of day you are having". Mr. Manderson, with his usual candor, shared a few valuable experiences which helped him during his tenure as an immigration officer.
In his brief remarks, Chief officer Eric Bush reiterated the Vision, Mission and Core Values of the Department of Immigration and encouraged the officers to be guided by these in the performance of duty.
Also attending the ceremony were Deputy Chief Officer, Kathryn Dinspel -Powell, Chief HR Manager Briana Ebanks, Deputy CIOs Samantha Bennett (Administration), Gary Wong, (Enforcement) Acting Deputy CIO Nicola Solomon (Border Control) Director of Policy and Strategic Management, Mr. Christopher Eakin, ACIOs, Immigration HR Manager Antonette Richards and Assistant HR Manager Audrey Hill as well as other immigration staff, partner agency representatives, family and friends of the graduates.
Training & Development Manager Jenifer Gager-Sterling, encouraged the officers to learn all they can about the psychology of peakness, to be fascinated with becoming a champion in their chosen vocation, and to learn to be obsessed with that which will make them great immigration officers.
Immigration Officer Karena Wright was proud to present remarks on behalf of the graduating class. In addition to their success, Officer Wright noted that it was a strong bond that kept the class together. She thanked all who had supported and encouraged them along the way. She added, "We would not have made it this far without your help."
ACIO Jeremy Scott closed the ceremony by thanking all who attended and the graduates for choosing the Department of Immigration as an employer. He expressed confidence that they would become an asset to the Immigration family as well as the country as they promote the importance of building positive relationship in the workforce.