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Pierluisi Aims to Improve Puerto Rico Police

By on March 14, 2016

SAN JUAN – New Progressive Party (NPP) president and gubernatorial candidate Pedro Pierluisi said Sunday that the issue of security is an essential part of his “Real Solutions” plan, stressing the Puerto Rico police force needs more resources.

“They deserve to be adequately motivated, compensated and trained,” Pierluisi said. “We will look to improve work conditions, including compensation, equipment and workplaces for our law and order officers, in particular police stations, possibly through public private partnerships,” he added.

SAN JUAN, PUERTO RICO - JUNE 30:  A policeman stands on a corner a day after the speech Puerto Rican Governor Alejandro Garcia Padilla gave regarding the government's $72 billion debt on June 30, 2015 in San Juan, Puerto Rico.  The Governor said in his speech that the people will have to sacrifice and share in the responsibilities for pulling the island out of debt.  (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

A policeman stands on a corner in Old San Juan. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

Pierluisi said he would promote a referendum to determine if local police and other law and order officials choose to enter the federal Social Security program. If so, the agreement with the Social Security Administration would be renegotiated, and as soon government resources allow for it, funds would be assigned to comply with the employer’s contribution.

“Also, we will increase the salary of police officers in the amount that corresponds to the employees’ contribution and will find a disbursement mechanism for those who are near retirement,” he said, adding that he will also give the highest priority to speed up and complete the Police reform.

“We will strengthen the Police Academy in alliances with universities in Puerto Rico and law and order academies in the rest of the United States, and we will establish, by law, a specialized, continuing and integrated training program for state and municipal police officers,” Pierluisi said. “Training will focus on the investigation and processing of the main crime issues including murder, sexual assault, drug trafficking, illegal firearms use and corruption, and we will use technology at all levels in law and order agencies to achieve more efficiency in the [police] force.”

Pierluisi added that “for all that I am proposing to be possible it is important to maximize federal resources. This is why we will give the necessary assistance to law and order agencies in identifying, requesting and managing efficiently the federal funds available. Each agency will render a biannual report detailing the use of the assigned federal funds and their proposals for additional federal funds and we will measure the utilization of these federal programs by agency.”

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