In the meeting last night, Dec. 14th at 6pm in Intercultura, the Costa Rican Police Commissioner Juan José Andrade presented his official plan 2012 for a "Sámara Seguro" (Safe Samara) with a power point presentation given to an audience of approximately 25 police officers and 65 community members. He introduced the new group police officers, recently graduated from the Academy, who will be stationed in Sámara for the month of January. Ten officers will then be assigned permanently to Sámara.
Commander Andrade addressed the need to attack the problem of security from all angles: not just to have more police, but working with schools, community groups and businesses to improve education, health, road safety, infrastructure and domestic violence prevention programs.
He also chastised the community for asking police to be more lenient in asking for IDs; he said, " We are not here to play, we are here because you asked us. We are going to be tough, and we hope that you support us and give account that goes for everyone. There are traffic laws that must be respected, for example, because security is not just for criminals, is the physical security of persons, and recently a girl died because she wasn’t wearing a helmet while driving an ATV. This can not happen again. About the revision of documents: both ticos and foreign must have identity documents with them; It is a requirement in this country. “
The Sámara Security Committee and CASATUR strongly support this integral approach and hope to work closely with police to ensure the continued development of new initiatives that will benefit the community in these ways.
Andrade proposed a marketing-type campaigned to go hand in hand with police operatives, whereby the community promotes the image of a Safe Sámara via billboards, leaflets, helpful hints for tourists, and other initiatives.
Director Regional Rafael Araya presented statistics on crime and drug prevention so far, 30 days after the police started their pilot program in Sámara. Results have been encouraging, and the police are ready to start immediately with a full-scale operative in Sámara.
The primary problems identified were petty theft and home invasions, as well as illegal aliens and drug traffickers. The police are confident that the new batch of officers, together with the Safe Samara campaign, will help to encourage negative elements to leave Sámara and its inhabitants to live in peace, as they desire.
The police asked for the community's support in their work, particularly during the holiday season.
The commissioner repeated the police force's request to the community that they make sure police reports are filed every time a theft or any other kind of crime or security issue occurs; the only way Sámara can hope to continue to receive police, educational, social and health resources from the government is if reports are filed, corruption is denounced, petitions are signed and meetings held, as they have been.
The representative from the Municipality, attending in lieu of Mayor Marco Jiménez who could not attend because of a medical emergency, congratulated leaders of the Security Committee and the community of Sámara for the organization and persistence shown in the struggle to improve government resources allocated to Sámara.
The crowning moment of the evening came with the official presentation of the new police vehicle assigned as of today to the Nicoya County. Community members applauded enthusiastically as the vehicle drove into the Intercultura grounds and the key was officially handed over, to the sounds of sirens and lights flashing.
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