Alliance to improve public safety
By Antonio De Jesús Aguado
In December the secretary of the state Public Security Department visited San Miguel de Allende to sign an agreement of collaboration on security matters with the local government; he said that the state and local governments are committed to decreasing crime. Mayor Trejo said that the aim is to restore public confidence.
At the Museo Casa de Allende, local and state authorities gathered and signed the agreement of the Operative Commission of Prevention. With the signing of this document local and state authorities are seeking to start a training program for crime prevention and will also develop some strategies to eradicate underlying problems that lead to antisocial behaviors. Álvar Cabeza de Vaca Apendinni, secretary of Public Security, commented that “San Miguel has everything to be a safe municipality” because there is enough cooperation between the city council and the residents. He commented also that public safety is the main demand from municipalities and it is a commitment between the state government and the local administration to provide it. Cabeza de Vaca remarked that the residents’ participation and cooperation will be crucial in matters of crime prevention and that the administrations, before thinking of buying new equipment or increasing their security forces, must have crime prevention as a main goal.
Mayor Trejo said that during his administration he is seeking to restore people’s confidence and that confidence will be earned through results. He commented that the 2009–2012 administration lost the citizens’ confidence because they did not accept suggestions, and for that reason confidence eroded. “If people trust and believe in their authorities then they will report crimes and the police department will be able to act. It will be an alliance between the citizens and the administration,” he said.
Gabriel Arturo Yáñez Saldaña, new head of the local police department, said that the topic of public safety is not an exclusive problem of the police, but a problem where the main constants are lack of education and employment opportunities, economic, social and family problems, as well as the lack of public spaces. All these problems generate risk factors for antisocial behavior such as theft or organized crime.
The new director commented that none of the municipalities in the country are free from insecurity and for that reason he will work with state and federal institutions to attack and eradicate the roots of the problems. According to Yáñez, they will not eradicate insecurity 100 percent but at least they will decrease the crime rate. He also mentioned that the surveillance cameras in the historic center will be put up in January.