Sávio Pontes | LEAP | Law Enforcement Against Prohibition

About Sávio Pontes

Detective Inspector
Polícia Civil do Estado do Rio de Janeiro (the civil police of the state of Rio de Janeiro) since 2002

Savio Pontes
With a large experience in the Rio de Janeiro state civil police focusing on the repression of kidnapping crimes and organized crime, Sávio Pontes has been living between two quite different worlds: the police and the University.

Sávio holds a 2011 Masters Degree and is a PhD student in sociology at the Instituto de Estudos Sociais e Políticos da Universidade do Estado do Rio de Janeiro - IESP/UERJ (Institute of Social and Political Studies of the State University of Rio de Janeiro). Sávio is a Specialist in Public Policies on Criminal Justice and Public Safety at the Universidade Federal Fluminense’s Department of Anthropology, and has an academic Extension in Ancient Philosophy by the Pontifícia Universidade Católica do Rio de Janeiro- PUC-Rio [Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro] (2011).

Sávio graduated in Law from the Universidade Federal do Estado do Rio de Janeiro - Uni-Rio [Federal University of the state of Rio de Janeiro], in 2005. His dual story began with an incomplete degree in Social Sciences at Universidade Federal Fluminense - UFF [Federal Fluminense University], (2000/2002), which he abandoned because of the difficulties of attending two colleges simultaneously, while still working in the Civil Police, which he joined that same year, 2002.

Sávio experienced the misfortunes of being a sociologist, labeled as a police officer, within the universe of Social Sciences, while on the other hand, the prejudice from fellow officers for being a sociologist. Maybe, as a way of combining these two realities, Sávio devotes much of his time to working as a professor in the Cândido Mendes University – UCAM, as well as in the Police Academy, trying to bridge the gap between socio-anthropological reflections on police, crime and actual policing.

The issue of “drug problems,” which generate traffic and feed other forms of crime, due to the irrationality of their prohibition, is a natural matter of debate and discussion in universities. But, up to a certain point, it appears as a thoughtless and prickly subject – almost a taboo – in the police environment. Sávio’s opinion on this issue has always been asked, but reaction to his response ("Pro legalization") amount to some of the rare moments in which police and academics show similarities: in general, all express surprise – some attacking his views as "betrayal" and others pleased by his "open mind."

Wishing to reduce the moral judgments generally applied to drug policies – which only cloud the merits of the questions – the policeman/professor Sávio Pontes signed up as a LEAP speaker. Sávio offers opinions on the subject that are pragmatic, realistic, rational and reasonable. He believes that legalization and regulation of all drugs is necessary, if we are to have a truly ethical environment, which promotes a better coexistence between human beings, while respecting individual freedoms and human rights.