The resignation of Emilio Díaz Colón, a retired US National Guard major general, came amid criticism that he did little to prevent an unprecedented 1,100 homicides last year  in a US territory of 4 million, despite an island-wide police force of 17,000.
COMMENT: When Diaz Colón was appointed police chief in early July 2011, following the abrupt resignation of former chief of police José Figueroa Sancha, he was criticized for saying that he had no plans to change how the department operated.
Unfortunately, the chief never presented a plan to combat crime, despite numerous requests from legislators. He also rarely communicated with the media.
In retrospect, Governor Luis G. Fortuño, a republican, probably erred in selecting General Díaz Colón, who knew little about policing in a high-crime environment. Perhaps it would have been more appropriate for the Governor to have selected a native-born Puerto Rican with impeccable US-based law enforcement credentials, but that was not the case.
Unfortunately, the out-of-control crime crisis in Puerto Rico could very well jeopardize Governor Fortuño being reelected as governor in 2012. He would be well-advised to act promptly to select a respected executive-level law enforcement professional with US experience, who could not only neutralize violent crime on the island, but additionally clean out corruption, which is an inhibitor to crime control.
In September 2011, the US Justice Department issued a scathing report demanding that Puerto Rico's police officials improve their department, accusing it of widespread misconduct and official corruption.