Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Justice Department and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico Jointly Select Juan Mattos Jr. to Oversee Reform of the Puerto Rico Police Department

The Justice Department announced today that, jointly with the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, it is moving in the U.S. 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 U.S. District Court Judge Gustavo A. GelpĂ­.

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.   Mattos is a career law enforcement officer with nearly 40 years of service in the New Jersey State Police (NJSP) and the United States Marshals Service.   During his tenure with the NJSP, Mattos served as a state trooper, an equal employment opportunity/affirmative action officer, as Commandant of the NJSP Academy and as Commander of both the Division Staff and Intelligence Services Sections.   Mattos also actively supervised the efforts of the NJSP to comply with a 1999 consent decree related to racial profiling.   Under his leadership, the NJSP received national recognition for its patrol practices and procedures.   Following his retirement from the NJSP, Mattos joined the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office where he oversaw the development of policies and procedures for the office’s Bias Crime Unit and established a community outreach initiative with minority community leaders and advocacy groups in Middlesex County.   Currently, Mattos serves as the U.S. 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.”

A copy of the complaint, the final agreement and the September 2011 letter of findings can be found at www.justice.gov/crt .   If individuals have information that is relevant to the case and PRPD, you may contact the Department of Justice at community.prpd@usdoj.gov or at 877-871-9726.

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