The Ministry of National Security has seen quite a change in the past few weeks with John Saldivar resigning and succeeded by the Attorney General Michael Peyrifitte. While Peyrefitte is the substantive Minister of National Security, Elodio Aragon will oversee the day-to-day operations as the Minister of State. He explained that with his new responsibilities, he wants to especially focus on the police department.
Elodio Aragon Jr. Minister of State, Ministry of National Security: “As you all know I am the Minister of State under John Saldivar and I now continue in that same role. Now of course the Prime Minister also posted that he wants me to take a more active role in the Ministry and that is what we are going to do. As the Minister of State I will definitely be having more responsibilities in terms of the day to day activities of the police department and the entire Ministry of National Security which includes the BDF, Coast Guard, prisons, forensics and the BDF of course. So these are the scope of our work and definitely of all of these ministries I think the one that stands out the most is that of the police department and definitely that is my forte and that is the area I want to focus on a lot too, not that the rest don’t need the focusing but I do think that this is the department that interacts with the public on a day to day basis so it is an area of concern for our people nationally and that is why we have to focus on the strategies that need to be employed to see a more effective police department.”
Aragon had indicated in a previous interview that an audit is usually done whenever there is a new head of the ministry. Today, when we asked if this will be done, he stated that it is up to the Minister Peyrefitte to decide. As it relates to the police department, though, he does not believe that an audit is necessary.
Elodio Aragon Jr. Minister of State, Ministry of National Security: “I think the new minister, the substantive minister the Honorable Michael Peyrefitte he will look at how he will handle his leadership in the Ministry of National Security and I don’t know if we need an audit in the police department. The police department when you look at how the department operates I would want to say maybe ninety percent of the budget is operational so it’s not a budget where you have any kind of discretionary funds or things like that for the minister to act on. So for as long as I know the police department, especially, I know that most of the funding is operational and so it’s all about ensuring that the police department can operate.”
Aragon once held the portfolio of Minister of State in the Ministry of Sports, Youth and Culture. In 2016, however, he moved over to the Ministry of Home Affairs, which was later combined with the Ministry of Defense to form the National Security Ministry.