San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Tamarindo Police Avoid Eviction Notice

Following months of uncertainty, police in the northern Pacific town of Tamarindo can now be certain of one thing – they won’t be evicted from their station.

The Public Security Ministry, in an agreement with the Municipality of Santa Cruz in the northwestern province of Guanacaste, will pay the rent through December for the current station at the privately owned Cabinas Maleko on the edge of Tamarindo.

The municipality, which is in charge of collecting taxes in Tamarindo, has never funded the police station. The station, instead, has relied on private donations to meet the $1,500 per month rent at Cabinas Maleko.

This year’s economic crisis has caused a drop in donations, and officials worried that police would have to move the station to the nearby hamlet of Villareal – a move that was forced in 2007 due to a lack of funding.

After two months, the police moved back to the edge of Tamarindo when they noticed a spike in crime.

“Villareal is too far away,” said Diego Chavarria, a Tamarindo police officer, who reasoned that the closer the police are to the downtown area, the better the service they can provide (TT, March 27).

Tamarindo community organizations are working with developers to build a permanent police station on a 1,800-square-meter lot that a private developer donated to the community in 2007.

Officials have said they hope to have the new location prepared before early next year.

–Mike McDonald

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