SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico -- The US Justice Department has announced that, jointly with Puerto Rico, it is moving in the US District Court for the appointment of Juan Mattos Jr. as technical compliance advisor (TCA). Mattos will be responsible for evaluating the implementation of a comprehensive settlement agreement to reform the Puerto Rico Police Department (PRPD). He will begin his term as TCA pursuant to appointment by US District Court Judge Gustavo A. Gelpí.
Under the agreement, the TCA will assist in determining whether the terms of the reform plan have been fully implemented in a timely manner. The TCA’s assessment will include a thorough review of PRPD’s policies, training curricula, standard operating procedures, plans, protocols and other operational documents related to the agreement.
The TCA will also assess whether the implementation of the agreement results in constitutional policing, increased community trust and the professional treatment of individuals by PRPD officers. To this end, the TCA will engage community stakeholders including representatives of civic and community organizations, minority communities, lesbian, bisexual, gay, transgender and transsexual communities, student and labor groups, civil rights organizations, and women’s advocacy groups to ensure they have a voice in the reform process.
The TCA will also assess and report on PRPD’s compliance, as well as provide technical assistance to promote constitutional policing.
Once appointed, Mattos will assist PRPD officials with the development of action plans to modernize its administrative systems and professionalize its police force.
The parties jointly selected Mattos to serve as TCA given his extensive experience in law enforcement and his efforts in the successful implementation of a federal consent decree. Currently, Mattos serves as the US Marshal for the District of New Jersey, having been appointed to the position by President Obama in July 2011. Mattos intends to hire several other experienced law enforcement professionals to assist him in assessing compliance with the agreement.
“We are pleased to have worked collaboratively with the Commonwealth to select Mr Mattos, who we believe is uniquely positioned to assess and report on the Puerto Rico Police Department’s reform efforts,” said Jocelyn Samuels, Acting Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division. “We look forward to working with Mr Mattos, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico and the community to ensure effective and constitutional policing throughout the commonwealth.”