Security Ministry Forms Alliance with Private Guards

October 6, 2006

In a move that was lauded by all involved as a positive step toward more efficiently confronting Costa Rica’s escalating crime problem, Public Security Minister Fernando Berrocal has signed into effect a strategic alliance between National Police and private security firms.

During a Sept. 27 ceremony, held in the auditorium of the Supreme Elections Tribunal (TSE) in downtown San José, Berrocal emphasized that the accord does not grant private security companies any powers that constitutionally belong to police only, such as the right to search individuals or vehicles.

When the agreement was first announced in July, legislators from the Citizen Action Party (PAC) questioned how much power the private security officers would receive and which companies would be involved in the agreement, alleging many private security companies do not properly train, equip or insure their employees.

Legislators also eyed the agreement suspiciously because of ties between Berrocal and other top Public Security Ministry officials and private security firms. Berrocal, however, denied any conflict of interest because all officials renounced any positions they had with private companies before taking jobs with the ministry (TT, July 28).

The agreement was signed by the Public Security Ministry, the Costa Rican  Association of Private Related Companies (ACES), the National Association of Security Companies and Similar Companies (ANESA), the Costa Rica Chamber of Banks and Financial Institutions, the Banking Association and the Chamber of Industries.

By joining forces with ACES and ANESA, the Public Security Ministry forges an alliance with 27 affiliated private security companies, comprising 16,000 security guards and 250 vehicles.

The banking associations involved also have 1,200 guards and 150 vehicles from their private security companies, while 10 major food distribution companies –including Coca Cola Costa Rica, British American Tobacco and Bimbo – have 4,000 security agents and 2,000 vehicles.

Berrocal said these private security guards will help be the eyes and ears of the police.

 

You may be interested

Adaptive surfing, part II: The story of Dean Bushby
sports
118 views
sports
118 views

Adaptive surfing, part II: The story of Dean Bushby

Ellen Zoe Golden - May 22, 2018

A three-part look at adaptive surfing in Costa Rica. Read Part I here to learn how a Central Pacific coach is…

Costa Rica launches Pride Connection network
Human rights
146 views
Human rights
146 views

Costa Rica launches Pride Connection network

Elizabeth Lang - May 22, 2018

As Costa Rica continues to grapple with the disagreements about marriage equality and gender identity that dominated the second round…

Costa Rica at a glance: top news from the past week
The Alvarado Administration
182 views
The Alvarado Administration
182 views

Costa Rica at a glance: top news from the past week

The Tico Times - May 21, 2018

Newly inaugurated Costa Rican President Carlos Alvarado is closing in on two weeks on the job. Here are some of…