Wednesday, during a brief ceremony at the Toussaint Louverture International Airport of Port-au-Prince, the Haitian National Police (PNH) Director Godson Orelus introduced ten new Haitian female police cadets to Colonel Fernando Buitrago, head of the Colombian National Police Office of International Relationships, before they boarded a Colombian National Police airplane, to travel to Bogota (Colombia) for police training.
At the conclusion of the program, the women will have completed Basic Police School training, including specialized training in Sexual Gender Based Violence and the Protection of Minors. She will return to Haiti in December 2013 to begin working with the PNH.
Currently, fewer than seven percent of the PNH officers are women. To improve the professionalism and skills of female PNH officers, the U.S. Embassy’s International Narcotic and Law Enforcement Affairs/ Narcotic Affairs Section (INL/NAS) is funding the training of these ten specially-selected female police candidates at the Sumapaz Police School in Colombia. The women were selected on the basis of education, aptitude and Spanish language ability.
With INL funding over the past year, Colombia has already provided shorter training programs for HNP officers in several areas (e.g. strategic planning, counternarcotics, anti-kidnapping).
Seven other new Haitian female police cadets will be going to Chile at the end of February for three years to study Criminal Justice. Upon their return, they will hold the rank of Municipal Inspector.