The Nosara Security Association (NSA) met for the third time in a month to finalize the new board of directors who oversee the association. The eight board members, which were confirmed on June 14 during a meeting at Hotel Casa Tucan, start their two-year term immediately.
Twenty-one people were there to cast ballots, some were also voting in proxy for members who couldn’t be there. The association right now has 56 members in total. Since all positions were effectively acclaimed with no opponents, ballots only offered one name per position, although there was a place for a write-in candidate in case someone decided to run last minute. All positions were acclaimed.
The new board will have a lot on its plate too, there are several projects on the planning board, although most require money. That’s a problem for the association which currently only has $700 on its accounts, according to former president and newly elected treasurer Agnes Pinherio, and that money is already spoken for.
Currently the NSA foots the bill for the rent of the Tourist Police office, the electricity and one of the phones lines. According to Pinheiro maintaining the Tourist Police station costs the association $1200 a month.
Plans have been in motion for sometime to turn the funding over to the Ministry of Security, however, the ministry only accepts funding applications every three months. The most recent deadline was June, which the NSA was unable to meet because the board was not finalized.
Pinheiro is confident the ministry will help, “We have spoken with the ministry and they have indicated they will cover the costs, we just need to meet the application deadline so things can be finalized.”
Once that is taken care of the association wants to invest in security cameras specifically in areas they have identified as high-risk. However, they want cameras, which can wirelessly stream video to the police station and will stand up to the rain and elements.
In response to this cost the NSA is hoping to start an ‘adopt-a-camera’ program where businesses can band together to help pay for the costs. The idea is the added security will benefit all.
Aside from cameras the association would also like to work more closely with police and security companies during periods of high-risk for robberies. The association has noticed that with the arrival of large groups for weddings, surf competitions or yoga retreats there is an increase in theft. The idea would be to keep authorities informed when there is a large group in the area in hopes they will focus patrols there as a deterrent.
They also agreed that education on how to avoid risk and keep your possessions safe was something that needed to be pursued. The responsibility for which falls on the shoulders of the individuals and businesses who cater to tourists
Another plan is to assist victims of theft in dealing with the legal process here. Which requires a denounce to be filled out at the Tourist Police and a trip to Nicoya to fill out a report with the OIJ. A process which can be sometimes overwhelming for tourists here on a short stay, but which is vital for the prosecution of thieves.
While the association has big plans there is a limit to what they can achieve. Ryan Bombard, one of the new vocal’s on the board said, “We’re not the prevention, that’s the police, we’re the eyes and ears, we’re here to monitor and report suspicious activity.”
The new board members are: President – Steve Reyer; Vice-president (returning) – Andres Gonzales; Treasurer – Agnes Pinheiro; Secretary – Raechelle Sexton; Fiscal – Dain Shook; Vocal 1 – Rodger Dwork; Vocal 2 – Rick Chalmers; Vocal 3 – Ryan Bombard