San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Lawmakers boost Public Security Ministry's 2012 budget to fight crime

The Public Security Ministry has an additional $34.6 million to work with this year, thanks to the approval of an 11 percent budget increase by the Legislative Assembly in November. The public security budget for 2012 exceeds ₡175 billion ($350 million).

According to a press statement from the ministry on Wednesday, the additional funds will be used to improve citizen security, combat drug trafficking and connected activities, and improve institutional development and professional police training.

“With this budget, the Public Security Ministry hopes to strengthen its institutional vision to be a more professional, efficient and reliable institution that is integrated in the community to provide better citizen security,” the statement said. “[The ministry] will base its institutional mission on serving and protecting all the people that enjoy their rights and liberties in national territory and communities.”   

Of the total budget, nearly 8 percent will be used to fund police administration, while the remaining 92 percent will be spent on improving policing. An estimated 80 percent of the budget will go to the National Police, and the additional 20 percent will be shared by the Drug Control Police, the National Police Academy, the Costa Rican Coast Guard and the National Air Patrol.

In November, Security Minister Mario Zamora said security enhancements in 2012 will center on improving the mobility of police forces and increasing the number of patrol vehicles in the country. On Monday, Zamora and the Public Security Ministry distributed 36 new motorcycles to National Police departments in the San José districts of Alajuelita and Desamparados. Zamora hopes to add at least 400 new vehicles to the national police fleet in 2012.

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