The Royal Gazette reports (20th April 2023) that “Police have been 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.

Darrin Simons earlier urged residents to apply for a career in the Bermuda Police Service as he revealed that health, fitness and psychological challenges limited the number of people taken on to become officers.

The Commissioner of Police said that of more than 100 applicants, only nine were selected to start a training course this week.

He told The Royal Gazette yesterday: “Because of the low numbers of people making it through, I have received permission to open recruiting to resident non-Bermudians.”

Mr Simons added: “Preference will always be given to Bermudian applicants.”

On-island hiring is usually restricted to Bermudians or spouses of Bermudians, according to information on the BPS website.

The BPS have a gap of about 50 between its funded establishment and the actual number in its ranks, with an overseas recruitment drive expected to add 15 officers.

Mr Simons said earlier this month: “I think a police service needs to represent its population as best it can and I think people who are from Bermuda are best positioned to police Bermuda.

“I take this opportunity to encourage anyone who is even remotely thinking about a career in policing to apply.

“A lot of people have misconceptions about what it means to be a police officer — they see the enforcement side of policing and they think that’s all we do.

“Clearly that’s a part of what we do, but we’re there to help people and it’s tremendously rewarding to help people in their times of need.”

Mr Simons explained that the BPS had 370 in their ranks and the funded establishment of full-time equivalent posts was increased from the 2022-23 revised figure of 404 to an estimated 424 in 2023-24.

The police commissioner said: “We want to get to 420 but we’ve got a ways to go.

“We have just started another round of local recruiting.”

He explained: “In the round of recruiting that has effectively finished, we got just over 100 applications from on-island and we just started a training course with about nine officers.”

Mr Simons added: “Is that small? Yes, it is below what we would definitely like to see; hence, we will be sending out advertisements for another intake.

“There are some real challenges within the community at this point in time.

“I said we had 100-plus applications and we have nine people entering the training school, so that’s almost a ten-to-one ratio of applications to people in the course.

“What we’re finding is that people are being screened out because of the health requirement … young people who are already suffering from diabetes, hypertension, early signs of coronary issues – we’re talking young people.

CLICK HERE to view the full report in the Royal Gazette