Local May 6, 2022 | 1:54 pm

First steps taken to reform the National Police

The Minister of the Interior and Police, Jesús Vásquez, together with the commissioner for police reform, José Vila del Castillo, who announced the measures at the National Palace.

The Commissioner for Police Reform, José Vila del Castillo, together with the Minister of the Interior, Jesús Vásquez, announced yesterday at the National Palace the 14 measures to stop deaths from abuse and brutality.



Santo Domingo, DR
The Government announced yesterday that it would “advance” the implementation of several measures contemplated in the police reform plan to guarantee the physical integrity and human rights of those arrested by the Police.

The Commissioner for Police Reform, José Vila del Castillo, together with the Minister of the Interior, Jesús Vásquez, announced yesterday at the National Palace the 14 measures that, in his opinion, will serve to ensure that cases such as that of David de los Santos, who was beaten to death while in the custody of the police force, are not repeated.

The 14 measures of the National Police

The measures advanced are the immediate execution of the installation of cameras in all patrol cars and the creation of a police operational center in real-time, with the support of the fixed cameras of 911; the installation of mobile cameras incorporated to the patrol cars; the implementation of the Police System of Criminological Consultation in the phones of the patrol cars for the non-intrusive and respectful screening of the citizens who are required by the authority in any circumstance; the creation of a national traffic control center and revision and improvement of the traffic inspectorate; the installation of cameras in all detachments, announced Wednesday afternoon by the National Police; the installation of a control and monitoring center for the detachments in the Ministry of Interior and Police and to place under the direct supervision of the Ministry of Interior and Police the Department of Internal Affairs of the National Police, in order to guarantee the prompt and rigorous investigation of the cases that arise.

In addition to the improvement of the systems and processes of the Inspector General’s Office, providing it with greater capacities for the control and instruction of cases; the acceleration of integrity tests for all agents, beginning with the PN’s top officers; the implementation of mandatory guidelines for action, based on decentralized responsibility; the implementation of urgent measures of complementary training for all agents in three areas, such as “crisis management, human rights and policing and the use of force and the exercise of authority.

It is also to ratify, subject to parliamentary agreement, and implement the Optional Protocol to the United Nations Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, which will give citizens access to international justice; and will oblige the State to comply with international standards on the matter.

“To this end, in the next few days, we will request the support of the Office of the United Nations Resident Coordinator, and we will start working with him; to coordinate with the Ministry of Health a special program to evaluate the health conditions of the temporary prisoners,” expressed the commissioner. Likewise, the communications department of the PN will be reorganized in coordination with the corresponding Cabinet of the Presidency, and new communication guidelines will be implemented to prevent erroneous versions and informative distortions.

The Context
The measures announced by the government of Luis Abinader yesterday are made against the backdrop of the death of three young men after being detained without a warrant and tortured by the Police.

The dead at the hands of the National Police
In the National District, those killed in police custody are David de los Santos, Jose Gregorio Custodio in Ocoa, and Richard Baez, in Santiago.

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