I have been the Secretary for Multidimensional Security of the Organization of American States (OAS) since 2010. What follows are some personal reflections that I hope will add to the broader discussion of Police Management in the Americas. I am always careful to point out that I have never served in the police services, but I am grateful for the opportunity to have met so many of the real heroes who work each and every day at personal risk to keep us safe.
In the Americas not all countries have armed forces nor do they necessarily have the same legal systems or security structures. What they do have in common are police; from the most populous, the US, to the least, Saint Kitts and Nevis. Despite improvements in the expansion of democratic principles and relatively broad based economic advances, according to Latinobarómetro, (in) security is still the issue that most concerns citizens of the Americas (2010, p. 15). Unfortunately, in most cases crime and violence statistics back this up and not surprisingly the public perception of the “police” is relatively low when compared to other government services. In 2009, 65% of Latin Americans had “little or no trust” in the police (OAS/UNDP, 2011, p.87). This is one reason why we have seen a relative explosion in the growth of often unregulated private security services. Seguir leyendo
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