(CMR) Cayman Marl's Road's sources in Jamaica have indicated that the police commissioner, Derek Byrne, recently made two separate flights to Jamaica using the only available public helicopter on the island.
Our sources shared that the helicopter remained in Jamaica until he was finished with his events and brought him back shortly after.
We understand that he traveled on Saturday, April 13th for the funeral of his colleague's daughter in Kingston. First travelling to Mobay and then onto Up-Park Camp in Kingston, Jamaica. Up-Park Camp was the headquarters of the British Army in Jamaica until 1962. Since then the Jamaica Defence Force has used it as its headquarters. It is located in the heart of Kingston and has a heliport there.
The second trip was made last weekend to accept the 2018 Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Director's International Achievement Reward in Kingston on Friday, April 28. The ceremony was held at the US Embassy.
According to the RCIP's press release “the award recognizes outstanding leadership, excellence, commitment to the highest standards of ethical conduct, integrity and civic and social responsibility. Commissioner Byrne's contributions to the success of collaborative regional enforcement operations with ICE were among the achievements mentioned in his nomination and selection for the award.”
As CMR began contacting officials today regarding the usage of the helicopter; concerns mounted about the necessity to use the helicopter for business travel to Jamaica given the readily available flight schedule of Cayman Airways to Jamaica. Further, there are concerns that if the helicopter was needed for an emergency rescue or some other official police business it would not have been available.
Recently the Legislative Assembly approved almost $2 million dollars for the operation of second helicopter. The additional appropriation was approved on Wednesday, April 3; after a second replacement helicopter was rushed to the Cayman Islands. The RCIPS sole helicopter was damaged in late February and the governor arranged to have a second helicopter expedited within one month; in time for the recent royal visit.
Shortly after the story broke the public outcry was immense on social media.