Mexico City is 10,000 police officers short of being able to effectively guarantee its citizens’ safety, the mayor said today.
Claudia Sheinbaum said the city’s previous administration claimed to have 26,000 police officers in its service, but the new government found only 18,000.
To compensate for the shortage, the mayor said, 3,500 members of the auxiliary police force are currently in training to be incorporated into the main force. That measure, along with an expected graduating class of 1,500 from the police academy this year, would bring the number up to 23,000 officers by the end of 2019.
In addition, the National Guard, now a reality after it was declared constitutional last month, will also provide support in policing the capital, especially in parts of the city that border or spill over into México state. But those officers will not likely be available till the end of the year.
Sheinbaum said the current force falls far short of being able to guarantee residents’ safety, and that she was prepared to make dramatic budget choices to augment the number of officers.
Improving salaries is seen as a priority.
The mayor cited low police salaries as one of the principal reasons for insecurity in the capital. On average, police make between 9,000 and 9,500 pesos a month (US $470-$500).
“We are facing a grave security situation in the city, and one of the first things that we have to guarantee is police presence. We are coming up with different strategies that will allow us to address the problem.”
Source: Milenio (sp)