Pedro Baltazar González discusses two aspects related to the activities of the National Academy of Public Security: recruitment strategies, and training and modernization of the police force. Underscoring the academy’s commitment to recruitment of young people with a vocation for public service—regardless of their initial skills—he describes a successful internal recruitment strategy based on referrals by current officers. He identifies another media-aware recruitment strategy aimed at young people from eastern El Salvador, who are underrepresented among recruits due to the influence of relatives living abroad. The importance of this strategy is due to the negative impact of relocation of other academy graduates to the east in the absence of any personal ties to the region. González then discusses a number of initiatives undertaken to modernize the curriculum at the academy, emphasizing a shift from theoretical instruction to practical work. Training addresses other changes in society, such as gender sensitivity issues and new judicial developments to keep up with changing demands from the populace.
At the time of the interview, Pedro Baltazar González was the executive sub-director of El Salvador's National Academy of Public Security. He began his career in the military, where he served for 10 years, reaching the rank of lieutenant. After graduating from the academy, he worked as part of the elite forces, hostage-rescue and public-security units. González served as sub-director general of the National Civil Police until 2006, when he left to work at the academy.