The Colombian National Police announced Sunday a total of 27 command changes in regional and metropolitan departments, evidently a process of replacing officers who will take the course to become generals and to strengthen security with an eye toward the 2014 elections.

The force said in a communique that the moves come in response to "the institutional dynamic" and seek to "strengthen the leadership of units within the framework of security and defense policy."

Last week, the posts of seven police colonels were left vacant when they were called to take the course required for them to become generals, a procedure that takes one year.

The new commanders will meet on Nov. 15 at a summit at which they will delineate the main elements of the new police leadership. They will assume their posts before the month is out.

In addition, officers with the rank of lieutenant colonel will be promoted to colonel starting Dec. 1.

Among the new chiefs within the metropolitan police are: Ibague, Col. Oscar Antonio Gomez Heredia; Pereira, Col. Ricardo Alarcon Campos; Pasto, Lt. Col. Javier Jose Perez Watts; Cucuta, Col. Gonzalo Carrero Perez and Villavicencio, Col. Wilson Bravo Cardenas.

Police commander Gen. Rodolfo Palomino was named last August to head the force, while in September nine commanders were named in the cities of Bogota, Cali, Bucaramanga and Cartagena, as well as in the regional districts based in Barranquilla, Popayan and Cucuta. EFE