Jeff Goltz Presents on Partnership with Ana G. Méndez University System at World’s Largest Police Conference 

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Jeff Goltz with Anna Melnick, CJI law enforcement academy graduate and City of Orlando police officer, who helped organize conference training tracks

On Monday, October 27, 2014, Jeff Goltz, executive dean of public safety, conducted a workshop at the world’s largest annual police event, the International Chiefs of Police Conference, at the Orange County Convention Center.

The workshop explained the partnership between Valencia College and the Ana G. Méndez University System in Puerto Rico for the Transformation and Sustainable Reform of Law Enforcement in Puerto Rico. Through this collaborative and collegial partnership, and many visits to Valencia College, Ana G. Méndez University System has developed and implemented an emerging concept, the Institute for Security and Protection (ISEP) for law enforcement improvement in Puerto Rico.

ISEP is a new approach to law enforcement training in Puerto Rico and is modeled after the training and education at Valencia College’s Criminal Justice Institute. ISEP offers contemporary academic and training opportunities to municipal police officers and other law enforcement professionals. The university’s 54 college credit associate degree in penal justice consists of a general education, professional and tactical components. To date, CJI has delivered driving, defensive tactics and firearms instructor courses to the faculty at ISEP in Puerto Rico, and more courses will be delivered in the future.

The program includes training and education on many of the high-profile topics that have negatively impacted the delivery of police services and safety in Puerto Rico: ethical values, civil rights and crisis situations, intervention with special populations, mediation and intervention, human and community relations, criminal law, criminal procedures and evidence, crime scene investigations, use and handling of non-lethal weapons and principles of tactical operations.

ISEP is adapting law enforcement training and techniques from Central Florida to a new student demographic, law enforcement officers in Puerto Rico, and has implemented best practices in academy and advanced training by delivering 18 college course hours in the tactical component of the program.

According to ISEP’s Executive Director Jorge Saldaña, as of January 2014, 319 students have graduated from ISEP’s associate degree program, and 493 students are eligible to graduate in December 2014. Of these graduates, 180 are municipal police officers from 12 cities in Puerto Rico: Bayamon, Caguas, Cidra, Gurabo, Jayuya, Juncos, Las Piedras, Mayagüez, Moca, Ponce, San Lorenzo and Yabucoa, and an additional 708 students are currently enrolled in the ISEP program.

This program is a model criminal justice training and education program in Puerto Rico thanks to the partnership with Valencia College.

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