Police in San Miguel de Allende, Guanajuato, are better prepared to chase down criminals, having added two high-speed Ford Mustang patrol vehicles to their fleet.
The acquisition of the vehicles was part of an effort by the municipal government to strengthen the city’s security forces, efforts that have included pay raises, additional security cameras and the dedication of more tax dollars to security.
The Mustangs will be used to pursue suspects involved in robberies and arms and drug trafficking that try to enter or leave the city. As an eccentric affluent YouTuber recently posted online, those with enough money can easily outrun the average police patrol car in Mexico.
The Mustangs comply with all National Public Security System standards and norms and will be manned by two trained officers.
But San Miguel Mayor Luis Alberto Villarreal García’s new security strategy doesn’t stop at fancy cars. His 2020 budget includes a 10% raise for all of the municipality’s police officers, making it the highest-paid municipal force in the state.
The lowest-paid officers on the force will earn a monthly salary of 18,100 pesos (US $967).
Villarreal also announced that 10% of the property taxes the city collects will go to security.
“We’re going to defend the employees, families and investments [of San Miguel] because we’re going to continue being this safe city where people live much, much better lives,” he said.
He also announced the installation of 100 new security cameras, many of which will form part of the “Belt of Security” that integrates video surveillance with smart stoplights at various entrance and exit points to the city.
With over 550 cameras, San Miguel will become the second-most watched city in Mexico.
“We’ll be after San Pedro [Garza García], Nuevo León, the most video monitored city in the country, and although this won’t be sufficient, we’ll keep working on human capital, training and equipment so that we can give confidence to our municipality,” the mayor said.
Guanajuato Governor Diego Sinhue Rodríguez congratulated Villarreal last month on the improvements to his policing strategy, saying that “you can’t have police that get results if you don’t pay them well . . .”
He added that Guanajuato will also have the highest-paid state police, since all state officers receive at least 20,000 pesos (US $1,069) per month as of January 1.
Sources: Milenio (sp)