Shamed: Ex-cop Paul Boorman leaving court. *Photo by Simon Jones
Shamed: Ex-cop Paul Boorman leaving court. *Photo by Simon Jones

WEDNESDAY, JULY 4: Officers will soon be subject to enhanced vetting to boost public confidence in the service, Police Commissioner Michael DeSilva has revealed.

His comments come after Reserve Police Officer Paul Boorman was jailed for accessing child pornography at home.

Boorman, 44, who was also probationary police officer at the time of the offences, was sentenced to 12 months in prison on Monday at Supreme Court.

Mr DeSilva told the Bermuda Sun: “We haven’t yet advanced our plans to enhance vetting standards in the BPS but we are still intent on doing so.

Checks

“Currently, new applicants are subjected to a drug screening and a general background check including criminal convictions.

“There are lots of details to work out around the mechanics of conducting more intrusive checks and there are confidentiality issues to consider.

“There is also an important conversation that is needed with the Bermuda Police Association.

“In the meantime my staff are aware that enhanced vetting, in some form, is coming.”

Commissioner DeSilva said that the enhanced vetting standards would also apply to Reserve Police. These new standards were planned well before Boorman pleaded guilty, in April of this year, to 14 counts of accessing child pornography.

Hidden

Boorman had been a Reserve Police Officer since 2004.

Mr DeSilva added: “Whether or not such checks would have uncovered Mr Boorman before he was hired is questionable.

“There are limits to what vetting can discover, especially when things are well hidden.

“Mr Boorman’s crime was detected as a result of a focused criminal investigation that could obviously dig a lot deeper.

“But enhanced vetting will certainly provide the BPS with another layer of protection and give the public another reason to trust their police service and to have confidence in our ability.”