Honduras enacts new laws to strengthen civilian oversight of police

Honduras enacts new laws to strengthen civilian oversight of police


President Juan Orlando Hernández

TEGUCIGALPA, Honduras — The Honduras National Congress has approved several portions of the new Law on Police Careers, a major step forward in the government’s efforts to reform the National Police.

“This law will help restore public faith in the National Police,” said President Juan Orlando Hernández. “I applaud Congress for empowering the public to hold the police in their communities to the highest standards of conduct.”

The Law on Police Careers installs greater citizen oversight over police conduct and clarifies that the National Police is a civilian institution, not a branch of the military. It also eliminates lifetime appointments and prohibits officers with disciplinary issues or those who fail background checks from being promoted.

The new law is a supplement to the Organic Law on the National Police, which was revised earlier this year.

The Law on Police Careers is the latest in a long-term drive by the Hernández administration to reform and improve the National Police. Last year, President Hernandez began a wide-ranging purge of corrupt individuals from the police force by establishing the Special Commission for the Purging and Transformation of the National Police. This past January, he announced that the Commission would continue its work through the end of this year.

“Ensuring the safety and well-being of the Honduran people remains my primary goal,” Hernández said. “Our efforts to end corruption within the ranks of our National Police are working — and are making our nation safer and more prosperous.”