Exchange Matters / December 13, 2019

Connections Across Borders: 2019 Mexico Training Institutes

By Elizabeth Black, Senior Program Manager for Online Learning, Global Ties U.S.

Mexico Institutes 2019 Training Team at Instituto de Formación Profesional de la Secretaría de Seguridad Pública de Hidalgo in Pachuca, Hidalgo, Mexico.


In October, the Police Professionalization Exchange Program (PPEP), which seeks to facilitate opportunities for U.S. and Mexican law enforcement professionals to meet and increase their understanding of each others’ criminal justice systems, completed its third round of yearly training institutes in Mexico. The training team—comprised of law enforcement professionals from Texas, New Jersey, North Carolina, and Washington, DC—conducted two-day seminars in Pachuca, Hidalgo, Mexico. Topics included ethics-based leadership, internal affairs, combating gender-based violence, and community policing.

Our trainers found that police departments in the U.S. and Mexico faced common challenges and appreciated the opportunity to both share best practices and broaden their own perspectives on law enforcement.

“Learning about some of the significant challenges Mexican law enforcement faces affords me a broader perspective of my profession and the opportunity to share this broader view with the law enforcement I interact with around the U.S.,” said training instructor Dan Howard of International Association of Directors of Law Enforcement Standards and Training (IADLEST).

Dan Howard, a U.S.-based trainer, (left) discusses internal affairs with Mexican officer.

Training institute participants also found the seminars professionally relevant and appreciated the chance to learn from and share experiences with their U.S. counterparts. The majority of Mexican participants agreed or strongly agreed that this experience represented an opportunity to establish connections with their colleagues in Mexico and their counterparts in the United States.

When asked what part of the training they found most useful in a post-institute survey, one Mexican officer responded, “all of the topic areas covered are essential for the day-to-day work of police, but it was particularly meaningful to learn from experienced U.S. police trainers.”

The most significant impact of the training has been the increased understanding and continued relationship building from officers on both sides of the border. Mike Davis, Sergeant Investigator at Bexar County District Attorney’s Office, said, “I have learned so much from the interactions and the true friendships I have made with my brothers and sisters in blue from across Mexico. This experience has taught me that we have so much in common across countries.”