Data

General Issues
Law Enforcement, Criminal Justice & Corrections
Specific Topics
Community & Police Relations
Citizenship & Role of Citizens
Transparency
Collections
UA Clinton School of Public Service Students
Location
Fajardo
Fajardo
00738
Puerto Rico
Scope of Influence
Neighbourhood
Links
Consejos Comunitarios de Seguridad en Puerto Rico
https://policia.pr.gov/reglamento-para-reorganizar-los-consejos-comunitarios-de-seguridad-de-la-policia-de-puerto-rico/
https://policia.pr.gov/planes-de-accion/
Start Date
Ongoing
Yes
Time Limited or Repeated?
Repeated over time
Purpose/Goal
Make, influence, or challenge decisions of government and public bodies
Develop the civic capacities of individuals, communities, and/or civil society organizations
Approach
Informal engagement by intermediaries with political authorities
Co-governance
Spectrum of Public Participation
Consult
Total Number of Participants
6
Open to All or Limited to Some?
Open to All
Recruitment Method for Limited Subset of Population
not
General Types of Methods
Deliberative and dialogic process
Collaborative approaches
General Types of Tools/Techniques
Facilitate dialogue, discussion, and/or deliberation
Inform, educate and/or raise awareness
Specific Methods, Tools & Techniques
Citizen Advisory Board
Social Media
Legality
Yes
Facilitators
No
Face-to-Face, Online, or Both
Both
Types of Interaction Among Participants
Discussion, Dialogue, or Deliberation
Information & Learning Resources
No Information Was Provided to Participants
Decision Methods
Don’t Know
Communication of Insights & Outcomes
New Media
Word of Mouth
Type of Organizer/Manager
Local Government
Type of Funder
Local Government
Staff
No
Volunteers
Yes
Evidence of Impact
Yes
Types of Change
Changes in how institutions operate
Implementers of Change
Appointed Public Servants
Elected Public Officials
Lay Public
Formal Evaluation
No

CASE

Neighborhood Security Council of Las Croabas, Puerto Rico

December 8, 2019 Jaskiran Gakhal, Participedia Team
November 22, 2019 legalinformatics03
July 4, 2019 Scott Fletcher, Participedia Team
February 18, 2019 richards1000_new
General Issues
Law Enforcement, Criminal Justice & Corrections
Specific Topics
Community & Police Relations
Citizenship & Role of Citizens
Transparency
Collections
UA Clinton School of Public Service Students
Location
Fajardo
Fajardo
00738
Puerto Rico
Scope of Influence
Neighbourhood
Links
Consejos Comunitarios de Seguridad en Puerto Rico
https://policia.pr.gov/reglamento-para-reorganizar-los-consejos-comunitarios-de-seguridad-de-la-policia-de-puerto-rico/
https://policia.pr.gov/planes-de-accion/
Start Date
Ongoing
Yes
Time Limited or Repeated?
Repeated over time
Purpose/Goal
Make, influence, or challenge decisions of government and public bodies
Develop the civic capacities of individuals, communities, and/or civil society organizations
Approach
Informal engagement by intermediaries with political authorities
Co-governance
Spectrum of Public Participation
Consult
Total Number of Participants
6
Open to All or Limited to Some?
Open to All
Recruitment Method for Limited Subset of Population
not
General Types of Methods
Deliberative and dialogic process
Collaborative approaches
General Types of Tools/Techniques
Facilitate dialogue, discussion, and/or deliberation
Inform, educate and/or raise awareness
Specific Methods, Tools & Techniques
Citizen Advisory Board
Social Media
Legality
Yes
Facilitators
No
Face-to-Face, Online, or Both
Both
Types of Interaction Among Participants
Discussion, Dialogue, or Deliberation
Information & Learning Resources
No Information Was Provided to Participants
Decision Methods
Don’t Know
Communication of Insights & Outcomes
New Media
Word of Mouth
Type of Organizer/Manager
Local Government
Type of Funder
Local Government
Staff
No
Volunteers
Yes
Evidence of Impact
Yes
Types of Change
Changes in how institutions operate
Implementers of Change
Appointed Public Servants
Elected Public Officials
Lay Public
Formal Evaluation
No

The Neighborhood Security Council of Las Croabas allows for community policing in the neighborhood of Las Croabas, Fajardo, Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria through volunteer Council members who directly inform police officials and the mayor of community problems.

Problems and Purpose

The problems to be addressed by the Neighborhood Security Council are those of safety and security in the barrio, Las Croabas, in Puerto Rico. The purpose, as stated by the Office of the Superintendent of Police, is to involve citizens in the policing process. The goal is to implement community policing. The Neighborhood Security Council is a group of citizens who meet to discuss these issues, and form recommendations on how to solve them. These recommendations are taken directly to police officials and the mayor of the town, Fajardo. 

Background History and Context

The authorization of Neighborhood Security Councils in Puerto Rico was codified into law in 1986, and has gone through several rounds of reform.[1] Communities elect to form these Councils based on interest. The Las Croabas Council formed in the wake of Hurricane Maria, as increased crime rates were exacerbated by a worsening police force shortage. This Neighborhood Security Council was formed in accordance with the Orden General Núm. 87-11, Organización y Funcionamiento de los Consejos de Seguridad Vecinal.[1] The official swearing in for the Council occurred on June 6, 2018. According to the Office of the Superintendent of Police, the purpose of the Council is to allow citizens to assist in the implementation of community policing. The Puerto Rico Police Department has explicitly stated that a major goal of reform is to involve citizens in the policing process.[2]

Organizing, Supporting, and Funding Entities

The Council was formed by citizen volunteers. The process also involved local and state police officials, as well as the mayoral office. 

Participant Recruitment and Selection

Participation in the Council is completely voluntary. In order to be a Council member, citizens must pass a background check and attend a formal swearing in. The Council has a total of six members.

Methods and Tools Used

The Council is best described as a form of a citizen advisory board, as the Council serves as an intermediary between the community members and the police force. The Council’s primary method of deliberation is through formal, structured meetings. The president of the Council then takes the issues discussed in Council meetings to city officials, namely the mayor and police representatives. There is also a social media account in existence for the Council to interact with community members who are not directly involved with the Council.

What Went On: Process, Interaction, and Participation

Deliberation and decisions are made during Council meetings. One way that the Council interacts with the public is through the social media account.

Influence, Outcomes, and Effects

The Council has been in existence for less than six months, and therefore the policy outcomes are not yet known. 

Analysis and Lessons Learned

The Neighborhood Security Council works to ease the effects of the shortage of police officers since Hurricane Maria hit the community. This shows the community’s dedication to making their community safe, especially as police face new challenges in the wake of a devastating natural disaster. 

See Also

Citizen Advisory Board

References

[1] Consejos comunitarios de seguridad en Puerto Rico [web log comment]. (2009, August). La Gaceta Policial. Retrieved from http://lagacetapolicial.blogspot.com/2009/08/consejos-comunitarios-de-seguridad-en.html 

[2] Oficina del Superintendente. (2017). Action plans to comply with the sustainable reform of the Puerto Rico police department. Retrieved September 18, 2018, from: https://policia.pr.gov/planes-de-accion/ 

[3] Oficina del Superintendente. (2015). Reglamento para reorganizer los consejos comunitarios de seguridad de la policia de Puerto Rico. Retrieved September 18, 2018, from: https://policia.pr.gov/reglamento-para-reorganizar-los-consejos-comunitarios-de-seguridad-de-la-policia-de-puerto-rico/ 

External Links

Consejo Comunitario de Seguridad de Las Croabas. (n.d.). In Facebook [Group Page]. Retrieved September 18, 2018, from: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1223388291117047/ 

Notes

This case study was written by Rachel Villafane, a Master of Public Service candidate at the University of Arkansas Clinton School of Public Service, and then edited. The views expressed in this case study are those of the authors, editors, or cited sources, and are not necessarily those of the University of Arkansas Clinton School of Public Service.