São Paulo's Police Suffers Blackout in Leadership Amid Police Violence Cases

Deficit of lieutenants and sergeants increases chances of misconduct, experts say

São Paulo

Experts say that São Paulo’s increased police violence can be traced to its lack of leadership among lieutenants and sergeants.

The chronic cases of violence involving military police officers in São Paulo are directly linked, according to experts heard by Folha, with the distribution of personnel that caused a kind of blackout in the operational command in the São Paulo corporation, with a deficit of lieutenants and sergeants.

Of the 2,961 vacancies for existing lieutenants in the corporation, there is a deficit of 450 positions (15%), about twice the annual training capacity of the Barro Branco academy, the São Paulo Military Police officers school.

Deficit of lieutenants and sergeants increases chances of misconduct, experts say - Reproducao

Regarding sergeants, of the 7,483 vacancies destined for the 2nd and 3rd classes, 2,196 (29.3%) are not occupied, according to government data.

The functions of sergeant and lieutenant are the two most important instances of inspection of street policing since these are the direct commanders of the teams and those responsible for demanding compliance with the rules.

Without supervision, according to experts, the chances of so-called misconduct increase.

“A serious fact is happening in the Military Police. There is no supervision,” said judge Ronaldo João Roth, from the Military Court of Justice of São Paulo.

Reserve Colonel Glauco Carvalho, a former PM commander in the capital and a doctor of political science from USP, was also interviewed. For him, the cases are the result of engineering that diluted the police force in the streets and took officers into barracks.

According to Carvalho, the Military Police force has remained the same in the last 20 years, despite a population growth of more than 20 percent.

The São Paulo Security Secretariat reported that the João Doria (PSDB) administration has already invested more than R$ 400 million to modernize the police structure, improve the working conditions of security agents and reinforce the police force to expand the capacity for action of the police.

Translated by Kiratiana Freelon

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