New DPSC Head Appointed

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L-r: Outgoing DPSC Director Brent Finster with new Director Julian Lewis. Photo: Bina Mani, GIS

Published 14th January 2016, 2:25pm

Caymanian Julian D. Lewis will take over as the new Director of the Department of Public Safety Communications (DPSC) in late February.

Ministry of Home Affairs Chief Officer Eric Bush announced the posting for Mr. Lewis, who has served as assistant director in the departmentís Electronic Monitoring Centre (EMC) since 2011.

He replaces Mr. Brent Finster, a public safety communicator with 35 years of experience, from the United States, and the departmentís first director since August 2008. Mr. Finster's previous positions included Telecommunications Manager for a county fire district in the San Francisco Bay area, and Communications Director of Aspen, Colorado.

Appointed following a public recruitment process, Mr. Lewis will manage the Cayman Islandsí Public Safety Communications Centre (PSCC - formerly known as 9-1-1), as well as the electronic monitoring (of offenders wearing ankle bracelets) and national closed circuit television (CCTV) programmes.

Mr. Lewis, who possesses a bachelorís of law degree from the Truman Bodden Law School, previously served in the Royal Cayman Islands Police Force for 11 years. At the department, he is one of two Caymanian Assistant Directors who were being mentored by the Director as part of a succession plan.

"I am truly honoured to be heading a dynamic and highly dedicated staff that provides service to clients 24-7," Mr. Lewis said. "We work in a challenging field where no two days are the same. Yet while the demands on our 24 members of staff are high, they are invariably handled adeptly. Nevertheless, we have to keep up our training and professionalism, so that we continue to provide excellent service to our clients," he added.

In fact, the PSCCís workload grew by 5.8% in fiscal year 2014-15 over the previous year, while 9-1-1 telephone calls rose by a whopping 20.5% from 79,899 to 96,244 during this time. 9-1-1 clients include government entities such as the police and emergency medical services, as well as the general public.

Commenting on the appointment, Chief Officer Eric Bush commented, "I welcome Mr. Lewis and look forward to working with him in his new role. He has proven his capability and capacity for hard work and excellence since joining the department in 2011."

Thanking the present Director for his services, Mr. Bush continued, "Mr. Finster has served very ably for over seven years. During that time, he has established an impressive legacy with the implementation of the first national CCTV initiative, the expansion of electronic monitoring, the relentless drive to improve emergency dispatch services and, more recently, the on-boarding of non-emergency dispatch."

He added, "Mr. Finster was also one of the first department heads in the Ministry of Home Affairs to implement a formal succession plan, which guided training and development needs for staff in the department. The rigorous recruitment process proves that succession planning works."