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Police Analysts from Mexico's Commission on National Security Participate in Stanford Workshop

Effective Law Enforcement Institutions and Democratic Accountability: Workshop Focuses on Regional Issues in Law Enforcement

The Stanford Program on Poverty and Governance delivered its five-day training course, “Effective Law Enforcement Institutions and Democratic Accountability,” to law enforcement professionals from the Planning Unit of the Mexican Comision Nacional de Seguridad (CNS). Held in Encina Hall October 11-15, 2016, the workshop was led by Professors Beatriz Magaloni and Alberto Diaz-Cayeros as part of their U.S. State Department-funded research project on police accountability and citizen trust in Mexico. Stanford political scientists and legal scholars participated in the week-long workshop to address a wide range of topics focused on the dynamics between criminal violence, police practices and citizen trust. Highlights of the unique curriculum included:

  • Design of police interventions by Beatriz Magaloni and Alberto Diaz Cayeros, with discussion of drug policy, fighting organized crime, what law enforcement looks like up close, and prevention of violence.
  • How to measure the success of police operations by Edgar Franco, a doctoral student in Political Science.
  • Use of empirical evidence to develop effective public policy by Gustavo Robles, Ph.D candidate in Political Science, with a discussion of methods for gathering and analyzing data and how to develop indicators for performance, results and impact.
  • Regional issues with a focus on Latin America, including anomie and law, by Stanford Law School visiting professor Rogelio Perez-Perdomo.
  • Roundtable moderated by Beatriz Magaloni featuring Francis Fukuyama, Erik Jensen and Stephen Stedman on accountability, anti-corruption practices, trust in public institutions, civil engagement, and the role of international organizations.
  • A lecture by legal scholar Mirte Posterna from the Stanford Law School on human Rights, security and anti-drug policy.

The Mexican delegation took afiled trip to the Stockton Police Department to meet with Chief of Police Eric Jones, an innovator in effective community policing and use of body-worn cameras. They also a visited Stanford's new David Rumsey Map Center, where scholars can work with digital mapping software to manipulate, enlarge, quantify, aggregate, and visualize geo-data in unique ways for research.

The final session of the workshop focused on developing collaborative approaches between scholars and law enforcement practitioners in Mexico on a CNS-sponsored "risk terrain" project currently underway in Acapulco, with an analysis of police patrolling data, the role of schools in mitigating risk for youth violence and gang activity, and the design of federal police surveys.

The workshop and site visits were instrumental in advancing key goals of U.S. State Department-funded research project on project police accountability and citizen trust, which include assessing the efficacy of new law enforcement approaches in coordinating policing between federal, states and municipal agencies, mapping criminal activity and drug trafficking routes in Mexico, and correlating socio-economic characteristics with levels of trust among Mexican citizens.