Dr. Jeremy Travis, President of John Jay College of Criminal Justice, together with the Secretary of the Interior and Police Dr. Franklin Almeyda Rancier and Attorney General Dr. Francisco Dominguez Brito of the Dominican Republic, last week formally signed an historic agreement outlining the role that John Jay and its faculty will play in helping to professionalize that nation’s 30,000 member police force.
“This is a great day for John Jay and the Dominican Republic,” says President Travis. “Our faculty is uniquely qualified to provide expertise and assistance to this nation in its efforts not only to educate and train their law enforcement leadership but also to improve and solidify their criminal justice system.”
The Dominican Republic’s President Leonel Fernandez says, “The professionalization of the Policia Nacional will improve all aspects of criminal justice in the Dominican Republic.”
This partnership began in September 2004 when Dr. Juan Avila, the Dominican Republic’s Ambassador to the United Nations called on Dr. Lawrence Kobilinsky, a forensic professor and science advisor to President Travis, to ask for John Jay College’s assistance in modernizing the country’s Policia Nacional.
According to Dr. Kobilinsky, “John Jay will train Dominican police officials on how to collect crime data, classify the different kinds of offenses, and transfer statistics from local regions to a central office. The goal,” says Kobilinsky, “is to create a system similar to the Compstat crime-mapping and analysis program that has been used extensively in the United States.”
One of the projects calls for the creation of two liaison offices that will serve as conduits between the college and the Dominican Republic. One will be at
John Jay and the other in the Dominican Republic. A criminal justice institute will also be established in the country’s Office of the Attorney General.
The government has already purchased a building to house a new crime lab.
Following laboratory construction, the college will provide training for the country’s crime analysts and forensic scientists. Eventually, the lab will have DNA-testing capabilities.
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