Forum recommends eliminating police escorts to civilians and increasing salaries for officers
SANTO DOMINGO. The First Inter-institutional Forum on Police Reform suggested the assignment of police agents to private service be eliminated and requested that the services be dedicated only to dignitaries and authorities who, because of the nature of their function, require a police escort. They added that these persons should have these benefits in a rationalized and duly publicized manner.
“Individuals should only have a police escort by judicial mandate, in order to protect them in case they are victims or key witnesses in a judicial procedure,” says the 14 point document presented as the Conclusions.
During the event, which was held over three days at the Police headquarters, it was suggested that there is a need to reorganize the structure in order to be assigned to the competent ministry, according to the constitutional model which reserves for the President of the Republic the authority and supreme command of the security forces, ordinarily working through the minister of that branch, “which also implies a revision of the Superior Police Council in order to ensure a counterpart between the components which make it up.”
Likewise, a common point of the Forum, in which 21 specialists spoke out, was that there exists a broad coincidence in that the “police reform constitutes a necessity in the face of the transformations in the Democratic life which the country has experienced.”
The panelists said that the Police should make an effort to achieve the recovery by the citizens of their confidence in the police force, as well is the fact that they should also modernize and prepare themselves for modern times.
In nearly all of the presentations it was stressed that the police have been stagnant for decades, which has impeded reforms which would adapt its structure and work dynamics to the demands of the social, democratic and law-abiding State proclaimed by the Constitution.
Another point indicated as key was the meaning of the police function and it was recognized that the low salary of the members of the police force is a risk factor for the reform, so that it is important to improve this, although the establishment of the salaries should be done in accordance with the requirements of each position and its duties.
It was proposed that the police career should be strengthened in the face of the new paradigms of management and the proposal that entering the institution should be by a public contest on merit. Among the major lines of the police reform which were identified in the Forum were, in the first place, the adoption of a new substantive (organic) law, an aspect which is a priority and urgent, but insufficient by itself, for the achievement of a complete police reform.
In second place, the police reform should be visualized within the general framework of a group of public safety policies which, at the same time, should be coherent with the National Strategy of Development which contains the demands of the social and democratic State of law.
In third place, the effective implementation of the reform requires that the police get rid of the old practices.
Other points which were adapted were making the police agents more professional and specialized; strengthening the transparency and accountability; reinforcing the internal and external controls; De-militarizing police management; focusing on human rights; strengthening the aspects of intelligence and criminal investigation; reinforcing crime prevention; achieving inter-institutional support; providing the Police with the technological tools that are a priority for the proper exercise of their function; redefine their organizational affiliation, among others.
Starting from these conclusions they will publish a book and will submit the first draft of the reform starting in August to the National Congress.
Adriano Miguel Tejada: the Police should stop being a refuge for miscreants
The director of the Diario Labor Day, Adriano Miguel Tejada, said that the Police have to stop being a refuge for miscreants that damage their image and affect the public trust in the institution. As he addressed the First Forum for Police Reform, which ended yesterday, he suggested that the institution should put aside practices that only create complicities which then have to be covered up.
Tejada said that he felt that the changes in the police have not achieved the proposed objectives because it has been very difficult to abandon the methods of the past “and above all, to embrace a new mystique, which I believe the new Dominican Constitution offers, a new policy to protect the free exercise of the rights of the persons and peaceful coexistence.”
In his talk, he said that the Police do not need generals or colonels, and he added that what they require are inspectors, detectives, and different internal structures with a clear division of their jobs. “We will have a respected police force when the agents apply the law to those that they know who they are and when their superiors do not contradict them,” he explained.
He maintained that there will be a police force when an officer dares to issue a violation to a general or a politician without fearing that he will be demoted “or he gets restricted to headquarters for 30 days for being a “wiseguy.”
Tejada said that the contradiction or the denial of authority which is invested in all policeman is one of the worst evils present in the Police and shows that the biggest sin is inside. “The perception is that the training after the promotion of a police officer to the police force is minimum. There exist educational structures in the Police which should be reinforced,” he said during his participation.
He indicated that they cannot promote members of the institution who have not taken the corresponding courses to the new rank. “This is what gives the sensation of professionalism and not what is now just a four year wait,” underlined the director of the Diario Libre.
The forum will be useful for the Executive Power to understand the importance of a police reform
Servio Tulio Castaños Guzman, the vice president of the Institutionalism and Justice Foundation (Finjus) argued that the results of the First Forum for Police Reform will serve in order for the Executive Power to understand the dimension of the proposed increments been which the police reform implies and in order that the different agencies of the justice system reinforce the policies and mechanisms of coordination in order to face together organized crime and other “scourges that affect us.” He said that the diagnosis and studies carried out over the last several years, show that “in this institution are concentrated all the potentialities necessary for a properly guided reform process, can be placed in a position to face the challenges of the present and, above all those that are lurking in the future.” “The Police do not want to continue being treated based on schemes and paradigms of the past, we are convinced that the development of the country will only be possible with a great investment of resources and training,” he said.
July 10, 2015
Category: DR News |