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  • Writer's pictureThe San Juan Daily Star

Police Bureau promotes 88 officers to captain



“The different police ranks represent the experience and capacity that is only obtained in the field of work, and with today’s promotions, we are impacting practically all the police regions around Puerto Rico,” Gov. Pedro Pierluisi, at center, said at Monday’s promotion ceremony. (Gov. Pedro Pierluisi/Facebook)

By The Star Staff


Following a federal judge’s decision to demote 12 police officers who did not pass a crucial promotion exam, a significant number of officers -- 88 -- were successfully promoted to the rank of captain on Monday.


Gov. Pedro Pierluisi Urrutia, in his address at the ceremony, underscored the rigorous evaluation process that the 88 officers had to undergo, including a supervised exam by the federal court. He said the promotion to captain, the first in eight years, is a testament to the officers’ dedication and hard work.


“I express my deepest gratitude to each of you, the brave men and women who wear the uniform of the Puerto Rico Police. You are the first line of defense of our communities, you are the ones who are there to protect our people, and for that reason, you deserve all our respect and admiration,” said Pierluisi, who was accompanied by Police Bureau Commissioner Antonio López Figueroa and Public Safety (DSP) Secretary Alexis Torres Ríos. “Today is a day of celebration in which we highlight the integrity and dedication of all our police officers, especially the 100 whom we decorated with a rank promotion. Eighty-eight first lieutenant agents are promoted to the rank of captain, thus joining the bureau’s senior management. Likewise, we will have three new second lieutenants, and nine sergeants.”


“All of these promotions reflect the capacity and great attributes of the members of the uniformed forces,” the governor added. “The different police ranks represent the experience and capacity that is only obtained in the field of work, and with today’s promotions, we are impacting practically all the police regions around Puerto Rico. To these ends, we are strengthening the supervision and administration of the bureau, because this is vital to maintain the efficiency of police work and faithful compliance with the Police Reform, which seeks to continue promoting excellence in this body.”


The new captains will work in 12 of the 13 police regions and will join around 30 active captains, so the Police Bureau will now have 118 captains. The last time the exam was given, resulting in promotions to the rank of captain, was in February 2015.


López Figueroa said “this rank represents the entry of a police officer into the senior management of the uniformed police.”


“These [officers] acquire supervisory, operational, and administrative responsibilities, such as the direction of barracks, precincts, districts, units, and divisions within the Police,” he said. “These promotions are vital to maintaining work efficiencies and compliance with the Reform, which requires advancing promotion opportunities and supervision of work within the Police Bureau.”


The DSP secretary also congratulated the promoted officers for this professional achievement.


“These promotions today are a testament to your ability to take on greater responsibilities and lead future generations of the Police Bureau,” Torres Ríos said. “Always remember that with promotion comes greater responsibility, but also a greater opportunity to positively impact the people you serve. We serve. I trust that each of you will continue to demonstrate the highest standards of professionalism, ethics and service. Your leadership will be essential to guide your work teams.”


The ceremony took place after U.S. District Judge Francisco Besosa recently found the Police Bureau in contempt because 12 officers were promoted to the rank of captain illegally.

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