Pedro Pierluisi agrees with the position of federal judge Francisco Besosa on the delay in police reform

Pedro Pierluisi agrees with the position of federal judge Francisco Besosa on the delay in police reform

The governor Pedro Pierluisi agreed this Monday with the appreciation of the federal judge Francisco Besosawho has expressed dissatisfaction with the time it has taken to implement the provisions of the Police Reform, which has already been in place for ten years.

“I understand the judge because these reforms should not be permanent. These reforms must have an expiration date. Ideally, if I remember correctly, it was before the end of this year, which was originally scheduled to conclude. The important thing is that if there is any area that needs some change, then it should be recommended,” said Pierluisi.

Incidentally, the chief executive left the door open to submit recommendations. Judge Besosa had established September 16 as the deadline to include changes. But The government of Puerto Rico requested until November 3 to complete the process.

“What I have asked is that the recommendations that are made be made as a team with the officials of the Department of Justice, the lawyers in charge of the case, as well as the ‘special master’ that they call and that the judge appointed to follow up.” . Any recommendation must be in equipment that submits. It should not be the Police individually, but in consultation with federal officials who are assisting us in this reform process,” said the governor.

He added that “I know that the next important step has to do with technology, with some technology systems that the Police are acquiring to be able to have greater visibility of everything that is happening.”

They rule out bad relationships

The secretary of the Department of Public Security (DSP), Alexis Torres, rejected that there is a rift between him and the Commissioner of Police, Antonio Lopez, that prevents the agility of police reform.

“I can tell you, jokingly, that the commissioner once mentioned that he calls me more than his wife. We have daily communication”, he assured.

Regarding the number of police officers necessary for there to be a robust Uniformed Police, both Lopez and the governor focused on saying that what is important, above the number of officers, is the strategy.

“What happens is that the metric is the criminal incidence. If we see the crime incidence going down, we see the number of crimes going down, type 1 crimes, we see murders going down, what that indicates is that the force we have is doing its job and giving results,” said Pierluisi.

He added that “always having more is positive” and recalled that a project was approved to lower the age requirement to enter the Police to 18 years and, now, they are looking for academic agreements with universities to provide an associate degree to those interested.

There are currently 11,970 active police officers.

The number of police is not everything

“We are looking at how to maintain the force and obviously tempering ourselves and providing it with technological tools, which is what we are focusing on to be able to complement human resources and technology,” Torres said.

“Always having more police officers is good, obviously. But it is not necessarily having more police officers. “It is the strategy that has been used since 2021,” said the Police Commissioner.

He highlighted that in 2010 and 2011 there were 16,000 active police officers and there were 1,180 murders in one year and 1,280 the next.

“Now we are down 96 murders compared to that year. (Therefore, the important thing) is the strategy that has been used since 2021″, he stated.

On the other hand, Pierluisi said that they continue working with the Fiscal Oversight Board to refine a decent retirement for police officers in which, at least, they can retire with 50% of the salary they receive today. He specified that they work particularly with those officers who entered the Uniformed Forces before the year 2000, who did not have a defined retirement contribution system.

“There is a situation that I know we are working on, which is that some police officers for not having been contributing to the Social Security system have some penalties and we are evaluating it,” Pierluisi pointed out.

The officials’ statements were made at the end of the graduation of 347 police officers.

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