The Royal Gazette reports that the Bermuda Police Service has close to 20 new local and overseas officers in training while others joining the service as part of a recent recruitment drive are being assessed for suitability.

 In April police were given the go-ahead to open up recruitment to non-Bermudians living on the island after less than 10 per cent of recent applicants made it through to training school.

At that time, the BPS had a gap of about 50 between its budgeted force strength and the actual number in its ranks, with an overseas recruitment drive expected to add 15 officers.

Police said it was inappropriate to provide numbers of applicants to the latest drive, but Assistant Commissioner of Police Martin Weekes said: “The BPS can confirm that currently there is a Recruit Foundation Course in progress with nine local recruits nearing the completion of their training and a Localisation Course now under way with ten overseas police officers, from the Caribbean and UK, who were recruited specifically for Detective Constable and Authorised Firearms Officer roles within the BPS.

“At this stage, those that applied for consideration as a constable in the most recent local BPS recruitment drive are being assessed for suitability.”

Mr Weekes said that while the service had always recruited locally to ensure that the make-up of the BPS reflected the local population demographics, there had been many periods over the years when it had been difficult to attract suitably qualified local applicants. As a result, recruits have been sought outside of Bermuda.

Mr Weeks added: “Over the last couple of years, the BPS has run a number of local recruitment drives but the pool of suitable applicants has not resulted in sufficient recruits to replace those who have left.

“Currently the BPS, due to retirements and resignations, is under strength. The aim is to bring the BPS back up to the current service establishment of 420 sworn officers.

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