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Mexico City police vehicles: colorful but uncoordinated. Mexico City police vehicles: colorful but uncoordinated.

Multi-colored police patrol vehicles source of confusion in Mexico City

Colorful cop cars cause confusion among citizens

A public policy think tank charges that newly painted police vehicles in Mexico City not only cause confusion among the public but are little more than propaganda.

Despite standards set by the city, there are currently nine different color and logo combinations in the city’s various police forces.

The patrol vehicles of the Banking and Industrial Police (PBI) and Auxiliary Police in the boroughs of Benito Juárez, Cuajimalpa, Miguel Hidalgo and Álvaro Obregón are not in compliance with those standards.

City police officials claim that the decorative changes were made to bring the forces “in closer proximity” to the citizens of Mexico City.

But México Evalúa claim the changes to the vehicles actually achieve the opposite, causing confusion because it is more difficult to recognize police vehicles if there are nine different versions of them.

Oaxaca city police vehicles were painted Morena maroon earlier this year.
Oaxaca city police vehicles were painted Morena maroon earlier this year.

“Really, in terms of security, I can’t imagine any argument that supports the claim that this generates better patrols or proximity to the public,” said México Evalúa executive director David Ramírez de Garay.

“What we’ve heard from citizens is that the patrol cars look ecological, that they don’t generate trust among citizens, but rather the opposite.”

He added that the color schemes reveal a “terrible application of public resources because of the cost of painting them that way.”

Ramírez went so far as to say that the color changes have a different objective from what the boroughs claim. “. . . the color schemes of the police vehicles more closely follow propaganda than attending to security.”

However, it appears that none of the colors chosen have the political flavor of some jurisdictions. In Oaxaca, either by design or by coincidence, some patrol cars were painted last summer in the distinctive maroon tone used by the Morena party. The mayor said at the time they would be repainted.

Sources: La Verdad (sp), El Universal (sp)

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