Fabian ‘the dancing policeman’ - Jamaican making waves in Royal Cayman Islands Police Service
From a chef in the Jamaica Defence Force (JDF) to a dishwasher on a cruise ship, now a member of the Royal Cayman Islands Police Service (RCIPS), Fabian O'Connor has always been determined to serve.
Today, the Jamaican is a popular figure in the Cayman Islands, signing autographs and posing for pictures with the numerous persons who want to keep a memento of the constable they have dubbed 'the dancing policeman'.
"It's all about loving your job and having a passion for your job. I feel good to know they can depend on me, and to know that I'm a Jamaican and I'm trying to sell Jamaica, sell Cayman, sell the organisation and sell myself," O'Connor told The Sunday Gleaner.
O'Connor grew up in Kingston and attended the Lawrence Tavern Primary School before moving on to Ardenne High School. After high school, he applied to join the JDF and was accepted. After training he was placed in the Coast Guard where his last role was as a chef.
After leaving the JDF, O'Connor went to work as a dishwasher on a cruise ship before being promoted to assistant galley operations manager. He resigned a few months after his promotion, saying he wanted to see what else he could achieve in life.
MAKING A DIFFERENCE
O'Connor migrated to the Cayman Islands with his family some four years ago, and began working as a security guard in George Town. He captured the attention of residents of George Town when his quick intervention helped to save the life of a woman who was having a seizure.
Several residents then encouraged him to apply to the RCIPS, which he did.
"When I was a security officer and I looked on social media and saw how people viewed the police in a negative way, I asked the Lord to guide me and to help me so I that I could become a member of the Cayman police to make a positive difference.
"I want people to know that they can depend on a police officer, whether on duty or off duty," said O'Connor, who was accepted into the RCIPS.
Over the past year, O'Connor has been based at the waterfront in George Town as a traffic officer and he takes pride in assisting the thousands of cruise ship passengers who make their way from the pier into the shopping area.
With a jig in his step, O'Connor dances his way across the busy intersection as he directs traffic.
"Whenever the cruise ships come to Cayman, I sign more than 200 autographs each day. I direct traffic with love and a unique way of doing it. I am in the sun, but I don't see my job as a punishment. I find fun in the sun. I put flavour in it, but still maintain the traffic laws and principles of the hand signal," said O'Connor.
Last October, O'Connor provided emergency assistance to a woman who fell through a window and was bleeding profusely, and assisted a man who had a seizure, in one busy day.
DEPUTY GOVERNOR'S AWARD
For these and other acts, O'Connor was recently awarded the Deputy Governor's Award for his outstanding contribution and dedication to The Cayman Islands Government.
Married for 18 years with three children, O'Connor visits Jamaica when his schedule allows.
"I'm a people person, and I like to help people. I also value customer service first and foremost. I always greet people with a smile. My parents grow me to show everybody respect, and that works for me.
"Right now, I'm a public figure here, a role model and an ambassador for Cayman," said O'Connor.