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‘The entire law enforcement training system must be restructured, since changing authorities does not solve problems,’ believe specialists after the outcome of the Bernal case

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The case of the lawyer María Belén Bernal within the Alberto Enríquez Gallo Police High School, in the north of Quito, opened a new debate on the safety and effectiveness of this training center.

The presence of a cadet who was in one of the rooms that were intended only for officers and other irregularities in this case have led the Minister of the Interior, Patricio Carrillo, to offer a restructuring of this training school.

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Bernal entered the training school at dawn on September 11, but there was no information about his departure. On September 21, she was found dead on the Casitagua hill.

Carrillo assured that “several heads will fly” for being involved in the entry and disappearance of the lawyer, as well as the lack of control in this training school.

Minister Carrillo announced the restructuring of the police school and assured that ‘heads will fly’ involved in the disappearance of María Belén Bernal

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For security expert lawyer Stalin Sacoto, the first problem with the National Police is that they only have one training school and it is located in Quito. He said that it is necessary to implement other training centers in different parts of the country.

He also pointed out that the closure of the police school, requested by various sectors, is not the right path, because with the current problems of insecurity, stopping training agents is not a solution.

For a restructuring, in his opinion, all the police officers involved in acts of indiscipline or corruption must be discharged, “whether they are 100 or 200.”

In addition, the structure of the police school should be strengthened, for which he proposed to carry out confidence tests on all police officers, of all ranks, through the polygraph, and that this technique be repeated on a quarterly or semi-annual basis.

He also pointed out that the women’s squad has to be made up of women and separated from the men. Also, she stressed that the rooms must be separated and have a closed-circuit video surveillance system.

This system should have cameras in the corridors and patios, both for the cadets and the instructors, and the information would be uploaded to a cloud, so that it is not deleted.

In addition, he stated that sentimental relationships within the institution should be prohibited, as established by various entities and companies.

‘My grandson, when I arrive, tells me: What happened? Did you find my mommy? Do you think they hurt her?’, says the mother of María Belén Bernal

For Ana Minga, a specialist in profiling and criminal behavior, a police restructuring is necessary, since it is undergoing an institutional weakening, just like other institutions in the country or government entities.

As a main measure, he said that a deep analysis of the profile of the person who pretends to be a police officer should be carried out. This should be managed through psychological and psychiatric tests, which allow knowing what the future agent has in mind. This need is urgent, in Minga’s opinion, because without knowing the motivation or traumas of the past that a person has, it is not possible to really know the personality of the aspiring police officer.

In addition, he pointed out that a follow-up must be done, that is, to keep these exams at a certain time, when they become police officers, and not through standard tests, but with medical studies.

According to Minga, the constant cases in which police officers have been involved have caused society to stop thinking about the stereotype that the police are synonymous with justice or kindness. “Being a police officer is synonymous with power, so the institution must know who it gives that power to, because if it doesn’t, it can be dangerous,” she added.

From 2018 to the first half of 2022, 1,898 Ecuadorian police officers were arrested for having committed contraventions or crimes defined in the Comprehensive Penal Code. This implies that, every day, at least one police officer is arrested in Ecuador, according to an investigation by TC Television and Connectas.

One of the urgent measures taken by Minister Patricio Carrillo was to remove the director, Francisco Zumárraga, and appoint a new director of the police school. This is Colonel Irany Ramírez, who has a degree in Educational Sciences and has worked as a teacher and instructor in several countries in the region.

Irany Ramírez assumes the leadership of the Higher Police School, after the disappearance of María Belén Bernal

According to security researcher and teacher Lautaro Ojeda, the change in authorities does not mean a forceful solution, since in his opinion the entire training system for law enforcement, including the National Police, should be restructured.

For this, he proposed that a multidisciplinary team should be created that first understands the role of the agents, in their respective branch, and the issues in which they should be trained and trained. That is, if they are going to fight crime, they must first understand the causes and factors of this type of criminal violence that exists in society.

“The complexity of criminal and social delinquency is poorly understood and studied and quite far from the type of preparation that agents currently have.”

With this, Ojeda pointed out that it will be possible to prepare in a better way, knowing what type of professionals and in what discipline they should be trained.

However, he accepted that this profound change takes time and resources, meanwhile, he indicated that it would be necessary to create a specialist team dedicated to resolving specific cases such as that of lawyer Bernal. (YO)

Source: Eluniverso

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