Former Costa Rica VP addresses police from U.S., Canada and Australia

April 16, 2013

Attendees of an April 12-14 law enforcement leadership seminar held at Harvard Law School are leaders of police unions and associations that represent the 50 largest cities in the United States and the 10 largest cities in Canada, as well as representatives from Australia.

According to Ted Hunt, a former Costa Rican resident and coordinator of the seminar, “We focused on raising the level of collective thinking by pursuing the goals of educating and training police union leaders to better fulfill their legal responsibilities and also to recognize and fulfill their social responsibilities.”

In that vein, Kevin Casas, former Costa Rican vice president and current secretary of political affairs at the Organization of American States, advised the peace officers to use their extensive power and authority wisely. He also encouraged them to be patient yet persistent while pursuing their goals and objectives. 

Casas cautioned that it often takes time for organizational ideas to mature and take root. He advised them to expand their base of support by reaching out to all communities. 

Casas encouraged the officers to take the time to reflect on what it is they want to achieve as an organization. “Simply ask yourself why you are doing what you are doing,” he said, “then take time to contemplate and think about your answer.”

Casas is a former senior fellow at the prestigious Brookings Institution in Washington, D.C. He has a law degree from the University of Costa Rica, a master’s from Essex University, U.K., and a doctorate from Oxford, U.K.

He spoke in the historic Ames Moot Courtroom in Austin Hall at Harvard Law School, in Cambridge, Massachusetts, in the U.S.

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