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  • Writer's pictureThe San Juan Daily Star

González Colón proposes removing Police Bureau from DSP

Resident Commissioner Jenniffer González Colón (Comité Jenniffer González Colón)

By The Star Staff

Resident Commissioner Jenniffer González Colón, who is seeking to become the New Progressive Party candidate for governor, said Tuesday that part of her security plank would entail removing the Puerto Rico Police Bureau from the umbrella of the Department of Public Safety (DSP by its Spanish initials).

“That was separated before, it’s not difficult. It was always separated, then the umbrella was put up with the intention of saving money,” González Colón said in response to questions from the press. “So, in fact, most programs are still not integrated. The administrative phases continue to operate separately. So it is not difficult to get the police operation up and running. What will be maintained is the integration in terms of public security management policy in global terms, of the interaction with federal agencies; the DSP is going to be a key figure and the police too. But in operational terms, the reality is that they are carrying out their operations.”

The candidate added that “[w]hat is happening is that … there is a clash of who is in charge within the uniformed forces. And that should not happen.”

“That is my assessment, that is what the agents give me, that is what the different officials of the component give me …” she said. “And I believe that the people of Puerto Rico do not have to expose their public security to a conflict between [administrative] power and a chain of command. As simple as that.”

“Those who are police know that you follow the chain of command. And when that chain of command is broken, that’s where the gaps come when it comes to acting quickly, addressing the security issue,” the resident commissioner added. “I tell you, I know what I am going to do to secure Puerto Rico, the fight against drug trafficking that we are going to take, the tools that we are going to explore and the changes in behavior. So I am speaking here, from the punitive side, I am speaking from the prevention side, I am speaking from the side of caring for the victim of crime and giving the tools to the components that are going to interact with this. It is time for us to think about public safety with all its components, including how we work with our police officers and their stress. We have to take care of everything, it can’t just be one area.”

González Colón emphasized the need for effective coordination between security forces to combat an increase in murders and femicides. She proposed a comprehensive strategy that includes investment in technology and the proper use of federal funds and assets to properly equip security personnel. In addition, she stressed the importance of improving the working conditions of police officers, ensuring a decent salary and retirement.

Among the candidate’s specific proposals are:

* Police Equipment: Use of funds from the sale of seized weapons to acquire necessary equipment such as bulletproof vests and body cameras, and simplification of purchasing processes.

* Dignified Retirement for Police: Implementation of Law No. 42-2024 to ensure a fair and adequate retirement, seeking to improve the retirement trust.

* Restructuring of the Department of Public Safety: Operational and administrative optimization to reduce bureaucracies and costs, improving service efficiency.

* Police Recruitment: Establishment of programs in high schools to prepare future candidates for the police academy.

* Officer Emotional Health: Implementation of wellness programs to help security personnel manage stress.

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1 Comment

William Rosa
William Rosa
May 08

This new proposal of Ms. Gonzalez Colon, shares the qualities of her previous announcements; instead of executing a plan that trim the ill trained governmental bureaucracy, proposes a new department with its own bureaucracy and personnel. As we know well, this ballooning of the government labor force, set in motion the "padrinos" or the patron that protect incompetent or politically compromised people, process to placed them in key position.

PR don't need any more of the same medicine; it has not work for the 74 years that had been imposed on the Puerto Rican people. The goal should be to prepare the country to get back on its feet, not to, in a self-destructive mode, try the same again. There…

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