09/10/2015 (written by lcalderon) – On August 28th, the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies (CALEA) hosted its annual Latin Police Accreditation Coalition Conference in Tijuana. Control, Command, Communication and Processing Centers (C4) of Baja California renewed their CALEA accreditation at the conference, making it the only center outside of the U.S. to have international endorsement.
Justice in Mexico was invited to present as part of the conference and took the opportunity to discuss some of its most recent findings in Justiciabarometro, a research initiative that seeks to gage the current levels of professional development and attitudes among actors currently operating throughout the Mexican justice system. Director of the program, Dr. David Shirk, argued that greater accountability in the judicial sector is necessary given one of the major challenges of Mexico’s justice system is impunity. As such, operators of the system, including police, need to be listened to directly in order to evaluate the Mexican criminal justice system.
Some of the most interesting responses generated by the Justiciabarometro survey included how satisfied police officers were with their equipment, salaries, and benefits. Many in the audience agreed with police officers in Tijuana, Ciudad Juarez and Guadalajara that equipment is often inadequate, salaries are usually very low and benefits are not sufficient enough to encourage young professionals to become police officers.
Dr. Shirk concluded the presentation by addressing some of the challenges for Mexican police agencies. One persistent challenge Mexican police agencies face is the lack of continuity on specific projects during a government administration. This is a significant problem given that one term (6 years) does not give enough time for the executive and judicial powers to develop and execute programs to benefit police officers. In addition, oftentimes the work of the previous administration getting a program in place will be cut when government officials change.