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  • Writer's pictureThe San Juan Daily Star

Police, UPR, OATRH partner to bolster force members’ professional development

Police Commissioner Antonio López Figueroa

By The Star Staff

The University of Puerto (UPR) signed a collaborative agreement on Thursday with the Puerto Rico Police Bureau and the Office of Administration and Transformation of Human Resources (OATRH by its Spanish initials), aimed at professionalizing and offering opportunities for academic growth in the online mode to public servants in the police force.

“With the agreement, online courses will be developed that will be part of the professional development component in the distance modality to strengthen the professional training of these public servants,” UPR President Luis A. Ferrao Delgado said. “Through the training plan led by the OATRH, it is expected to impact the performance of the police officers in the exercise of their diverse functions. This alliance allows us to continue with the academic excellence that distinguishes us and that we will make available to those who are in charge of the security of our country every day.”

The UPR has designated the Bayamón Campus (UPRB) as the administrative entity of the agreement through DECEP, a continuing education unit.

“This collaboration between the Police Bureau, OATRH and the University of Puerto Rico demonstrates our firm conviction to contribute to the continuous training and training of our public servants,” UPRB Chancellor Miguel Vélez Rubio said. “At UPRB, we are committed to academic excellence, and this project allows us to expand our academic and technological capabilities to strengthen the professionalization of the police. It is an honor for the UPR Bayamón to be the administrative entity of this agreement, and together we will work hard to achieve a significant impact on the quality and efficiency of services that our police offer to the community.”

Police Commissioner Antonio López Figueroa noted that “with this agreement we take another step toward the professionalization of our personnel and compliance with the parameters of the Sustainable Police Reform, while at the same time we will be able to have first-class education available 24 hours a day.”

“The University of Puerto Rico has been characterized since its founding by its educational offerings of excellence and the training of leaders in all disciplines,” he said. “The Police will benefit from this expertise for the training of our human resources. All our employees will be able to access 17 online courses around the public policies indicated in the [police] reform and designed in coordination with the [Bureau]. The staff will be able to access them and the virtual library of the force from their workplaces, without having to travel to the academy in Gurabo.”

For the purposes of the agreement, the UPR has a maximum budget of $4.3 million to cover the total costs of the project. It was reported that the funds that support the project will be administered by the UPR Central Administration’s Vice Presidency of Professional and Distance Programs as technical assistance to government agencies. UPR Vice President Ana Milena Lucumi emphasized that the development of distance education is a milestone in constant evolution at the UPR, to serve through regular education and continuing education all residents of Puerto Rico who seek training, both formal and informal, of high quality and with the integration of emerging technologies.

“Courses will be available through computers and mobile devices 24 hours a day, seven days a week,” López Figueroa added. “To ensure the progress of the students, we will have 25 training coordinators and monitoring systems. In this way, we will advance in the implementation of the reform in all work areas.”

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