Colombia’s minister of defense on Thursday said he will add 10,000 new police in 2013 to reinforce security in cities around the country.
Defense Minister Juan Carlos Pinzon made the announcement in the nation’s capital, Bogota, to various city mayors from the Colombian Association of Capitals, who explained that their primary concern was security in their cities.
“Last year we added ten thousand men to the police force; where they arrived the insecurity [level] dropped immediately. This year will see the addition of ten thousand uniformed [officers] on foot patrol,” said Pinzon.
“City security problems and the citizens of these cities are our primary concern today and we are taking decisions, making public policy and above all, acting to address these concerns.”
The minister also added that over the years they have increased the number of helicopters, vehicles, intelligence systems and judicial police, saying that right now, what the citizen needs is more foot patrols.
FACT SHEET: Cali crime statistics
FACT SHEET: Medellin violence statistics
In a separate report, the defense minister said that an elite unit of the National Police will be sent to Cali with the mission of taking down the top commanders of leftists guerrillas and drug trafficking cartels.
“We have decided on a national level to transfer the efficiency and experience that it [the elite police unit] has for the fight against high-value targets like the leaders of the FARC, ELN, drug cartels and criminal gangs, to pursue the leaders of the gangs that, in cities like Cali, are affecting the citizens,” said Pinzon.
On Thursday, President Juan Manuel Santos ordered the transfer of National Police commander Jose Roberto Leon Riaño to Medellin, saying the commander will, “Take direct charge of the situation until the city becomes calm again.”
- Policia Nacional entregara 10 mil uniformados a ciudades del pais en 2013 (Defense Ministry)
- Mindefensa anuncia 10 mil policias mas para reforzar seguridad en ciudades capitales (Radio Santa Fe)
- Mindefensa activa grupo elite de la Policía para enfrentar criminalidad en Cali (Defense Ministry)