The New York Police Department (NYPD) provides training in crime prevention for officers of the National Police of Panama (PN) in the Panamanian provinces of Bocas Del Toro and Chiriquí, reported the US embassy in the Central American country.
A group of 40 PN officers in the Caribbean province of Bocas del Toro participated in a two- day training given by two NYPD officers.
New York Police officers shared with their Panamanian counterparts best practices in crime prevention, efficient ways to warn tourists about existing risks, video surveillance practices and how to enhance their role as protectors and servants of their community.
The trainings will also be held in Boquete, province of Chiriquí, on Thursday and Friday.
The training course held in Bocas del Toro was attended by Commissioner Alexis Muñoz and Major Roberto Rodríguez, on behalf of the PN, and the Mayor of this province, bordering on Costa Rica, Martin Downer.
Francisco Pérez, Public Affairs Adviser of the Embassy of the United States in Panama, said that at a meeting with the Mayor the attendees discussed about the support that can be given in terms of safety training to enhance security in touristic places.
"Bocas del Toro is a true paradise, but as in every part of the world, we must take precautions," said the US diplomat.
In February 2017, American tourist Catherine M. Johannet, 34, was murdered on an island in Bocas del Toro, and the person responsible for the crime was initially sentenced to 12 years in prison.
On September 7, the Prosecutor's Office reported that a Panamanian court increased the sentence from 12 to 24 years for the person responsible for the rape and death of Johannet, whose body was found in February 2017 in Bocas del Toro.
"After an appeal, (the) Public Prosecutor's Office in Bocas del Toro succeeded in amending the sentence of 12 to 24 years in prison against the teenager responsible for the crime of American Catherine Medalia Johannet," said the institution on Twitter.
The convicted man, whose identity is unknown, is a young Panamanian who at the time of the crime was 17 years old and who was arrested in October last year.
At the end of the training, PN officers highlighted the role that the residents of Bocas del Toro must play to promote security in their community and reiterated their commitment to citizenship.
The United States highlighted its commitment to continue supporting Panama in strengthening the capacities of its security forces and continuing to work towards an effective cooperation strategy in the field of security, according to a statement released by the US diplomatic mission.