The equipment issues facing the Fairfield Police Department in the U.S. state of Connecticut are problems Nicaragua’s National Police would love to have.
“In Fairfield, officers complain if the CD player doesn’t work in their new $80,000 patrol car, or if the air-conditioning doesn’t get cold enough,” said retired Fairfield Police Chief David Peck.
In Nicaragua, the former police chief noted, officers’ needs are much more basic. they oftentimes don’t even have enough vehicles to respond to calls, or enough gas to get there.
Other equipment is also in short supply here. “Granada’s police have only 10 sets of handcuffs for the whole department; I have four sets of handcuffs back in my locker,” said Felipe Rodríguez, a former New York City cop who now works for the John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York.
But other that the discrepancies in material resources, the U.S. officers say that many of the issues related to serving and protecting are the same for cops all over the world.
In an effort to cultivate that fraternal bond and see where it can lead in terms of material donations to Nicaragua’s National Police Force, Chief Peck and Rodríguez came to Granada last week as part of visiting delegation of current and ex- law officers invited here by Amigos de la Policia, a community safety support group made up mostly of expatriates who help local police.
In conjunction with Partners International Foundation and the Albert Schweitzer Institute at QuinnipiacUniversity in Hamden, Connecticut, the officers from Fairfield arrived for a law enforcement leadership training course given to the 10 department heads and two chiefs of Granada’s National Police department.
The visiting group also bought a new motorcycle for the Granada cops. The two-day leadership course was led by Alianza Americana, a group from León that offers leadership programs in Nicaragua. Granada resident Darrell Bushnell, head of Amigos de la Policía, said the visit from the Fairfield Police is the culmination of several years of communicating back and forth with Chief Peck.
Both men said they hope last week’s visit will be the first step in developing a stronger partnership between the Nicaraguan and Connecticut police forces.