The U.S. Embassy in San Salvador, through the Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL), donated 500 body cameras (or “bodycams”) to El Salvador’s National Civilian Police (PNC) in a ceremony with the Director General of the PNC, Commissioner Howard Cotto.
The bodycam donation supports transparency in policing efforts of the PNC, and will be used in priority PNC units supported by INL. More than 20 specialized units of the PNC will benefit from this new technology, among those are the Group of Special Police Operations, the Anti-Extortion Task Force, The El Salvador Reaction Force, the Tactical Operations Section, the Border Security Division and the 911 Emergency Division, in addition, some cameras will go to the Soyapango, Sonsonate, Santa Ana, San Miguel, among others.INL has invested $200,000 in this equipment.
In 2016, INL and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) worked with the PNC and civil society to draft a new policy on the “use of force”. In 2017, INL supported the PNC to draft a protocol on the use of bodycams, including disciplinary sanctions for not activating them during operations, based on the model used by the San Diego Police Department.
Ambassador Jean Elizabeth Manes said in her remarks, “Initiatives aimed at promoting transparency are an important step for the PNC in the fulfillment of its mission; because trust in the“Heroes in Blue” can only be achieved through transparency…. Trust is fundamental in the fight against crime and violence in El Salvador, because security is a priority for all Salvadorans.”