Federal Monitor Says Police Promotions Are Still Politically Motivated
SAN JUAN — The federal monitor assigned to oversee the Puerto Rico Police Department, Arnaldo Claudio, insisted Wednesday that partisan politics remain a key factor in promotions that take place within the agency.
“I’m still concerned about Act 53 of 1996, which deals with promotions at the Police [Department], specifically Paragraphs 14 to 21. We are looking at the law to achieve a more equitable evaluation [process],” Claudio said after ending a meeting with Police superintendent-designate Michelle Hernández.
Hernández, meanwhile, said she will order an independent study to determine the type of officials that the Police Department needs and evaluate promotions, among other matters.
“We always hear that the Police Department needs a whole bunch of officers at such-and-such location, but those are [just] opinions. The study would give validity to those opinions,” she said, adding that the hard data gleamed from such a study would also allow the department to carry out organizational adjustments. “It would not be just about how many officers we need, but where they should be and in what capacity.”
Claudio also revealed that his latest Police compliance report, the fifth so far, will be released during the next few days. The upcoming report deals with the situation within the department’s drugs and narcotics division, with Claudio noting that, since the arrest of several members of a crime group dubbed the “Suricatos,” repeated calls to reorganize the department’s drugs division have been met with a “very slow” response.