Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Cop School, Where Blues Lose Justification for Wrongdoing

Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Cop School, Where Blues Lose Justification for Wrongdoing

Article excerpt

IN a four-story beehive on a busy Mexico City boulevard, hundreds of students sit in various cramped classrooms learning what it takes to be a cop.

"What is man?" asks the teacher in a course on human rights. In a class on organized crime, students - many of whom have spent time at the Federal Bureau of Investigation's training center in Quantico, Va. - learn "the psychology of family crime."

Then there is the continuing education section, where a classroom full of men who are already policemen - most looking bored, none taking notes - hear an instructor detail what to do before, during, and after a natural disaster such as an earthquake.

This is the Professional Training Institute for Mexico City residents who want to be, or continue to be, members of the crime investigation police, called judicial police. And while it may not be surrounded by the lush woods of Virginia, the institute represents a huge leap forward in the education and training of Mexico's police. …

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