Valencia’s CJI Serves as a Model for Police Training Reform in Puerto Rico

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A Message from Criminal Justice Institute Director, Dr. Jeff Goltz

In December of last year, I participated on a panel called “Optimizing Modeling & Simulation for Law Enforcement Training: The Next Challenge”. The assistant director of the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center also participated on this panel, and I was provided with valuable information from the current task force about the public safety status in Puerto Rico. That information has proven to be valuable as we coordinate Valencia’s ongoing participation in changing criminal justice practices in Puerto Rico.

In August 2010, a collaborative partnership between the central Florida criminal justice community and Valencia’s Criminal Justice Institute (CJI) began under the leadership of Dr. José Méndez, president of Ana G. Méndez University in Puerto Rico, and Orlando City Commissioner Tony Ortiz, a retired officer from the Orlando Police Department.

As a result of this partnership and many visits to Valencia, Ana G. Méndez University developed and implemented the Institute for Security and Protection (ISEP) in Puerto Rico. ISEP is modeled after the training and education program at CJI and offers contemporary academic and training opportunities to municipal police officers and other law enforcement professionals.

In July 2013, the U.S. Attorney General, Eric H. Holder, Jr. signed an agreement with the Governor of Puerto Rico, Alejandro Garcia Padilla, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico and the Puerto Rico Police Department (PRPD) for the sustainable reform of the PRPD. This agreement contains nearly 300 actionable policy, training and education items.

I am currently working with a team of administrators and faculty at Ana G. Méndez University to review the agreement and develop a strategy to comply with many of the items contained in it. To read a full report about CJI’s role in the sustainable reform agreement please click here.

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