New 150-Strong Force To Patrol Downtown

May 2, 2008

Public Security Minister Janina del Vecchio announced 150 new police officers will soon be hitting the streets of San José.

After the April 10 graduation of 150 recruits, del Vecchio decided to create yet another police force – called the Policía Metropolitana, or Metropolitan Police – to patrol the downtown area exclusively.

“I don’t want desk cops, nor do I want them hiding in branch offices,” the recently appointed minister said. “I want them on the streets, in the neighborhoods, within reach of the people and on the front lines of the battle against crime.”

Del Vecchio also indicated she would begin distributing offices according to a “scientific” model based on the zones and hours where and when crimes most often occur.

In February, the Comptroller General’s Office, after conducting an audit of Public Security Ministry procedures, issued a scathing report stating police branches were not being located in high-crime areas.

The report states the ministry was required to use a “public security index” in 2002 to help it decide where to allocate branches and manpower. But officials never followed through and the department responsible for implementing it declined to cooperate with the audit investigators.

The new police will begin patrolling May 8, and their branch office will be at the Parque Central.

 

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