Cops fill in as albañiles. Cops fill in as albañiles.

Police put to work as construction laborers despite officer shortage

'Everyone has to pitch in,' says Naucalpan police captain

Despite a shortage of police, officers were called on to do some construction work in Naucalpan, México state, where there appears to be a similar shortage of albañiles, or laborers.

Some 20 officers and academy cadets were seen working on a new floor at police headquarters in the Alce Blanco neighborhood on Thursday.

“Everyone has to pitch in,” police Captain Lázaro Gaytán Aguirre told the newspaper El Universal.

“It’s only eight officers working on it,” he added.

However, El Universal documented at least 20 officers at work on the building.

They were mixing cement and moving it in buckets up to the roof of the station, where they had raised walls to add another story.

“The remodeling work they’re doing is just for today, they’ll finish today. It’s a new story we’re putting in to make space,” Gaytán said.

“We’re using officers to do it because we’re trying to make the best use of the resource,” he added.

Gaytán insisted that crime rates in Naucalpan have dropped, but did not provide specific data. He did, however, admit to a 600-officer shortage in the municipality.

Sources: El Universal (sp), El Heraldo de México (sp)

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