Public Safety Dept. backs licensing security system technicians in Puerto Rico
SAN JUAN – The Puerto Rico Public Safety Department (DSP by its Spanish initials) said Thursday that it favors House Bill 1094, presented by Rep. Néstor Alonso Vega, to establish the Law for the Creation of the Registry & License for Security Surveillance, Monitoring and Alarm System Technicians to regulate those who offer such services as installation and repair of these systems that help prevent break-ins.
In a public hearing by the Public Safety Committee, chaired by Rep. Félix Lassalle Toro, Sgt. Noraida Alicea Villegas, director of the Public Safety Licenses & Permits Investigations Division, backed the measure, stating the issue is of high public interest since these workers can obtain confidential information when they enter private property to install the equipment.
Among the requirements established in the measure are that personnel be over age 18, U.S. citizens or legal residents, have submitted a lack of criminal record certification and not have been charged with driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, as well as filing a Police Bureau application accompanied by an Internal Revenue proof.
The agency recommended including in the requirements that an applicant cannot be included in the Sexual Offenders & Abuse Against Minors Registry, “because such technicians enter homes to install equipment and what that implies if there are minors at the location; we must adopt proactive measures to protect this population against any damage to their physical or emotional integrity.”
Another recommendation is for the legislation to undergo an amendment so implementation is within a term of 180 days and that an additional 120 days be granted so the companies can comply with the regulations adopted.
“This measure, for us in the Police Bureau, would be of great benefit since you have seen crime has been increasing and this helps us a lot as police officers, and we believe it would be perfect because we would have evidence that would help in the clarification of break-ins,” Alicea Villegas said.
Meanwhile, the author of the measure said that with this bill, “we are looking for better quality of life and security for Puerto Rican families. With this initiative, we understand we are on the right path.”
According to the bill, in 2016, 2,859 cases of breaking and entering were reported and, by April 2017, a total of 2,144 cases had been recorded.
The State Department said it favored the intention of the measure but granted deference to the DSP to present its position.
The chair of the House committee asked those testifying about the bill to provide, within 10 days, statistics on break-in involving suspects who had installed security equipment, so the bill’s record can be strengthened.