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Nearly 200 Cameras Now Watching Over City as New Security Center Opens

Sophi Huett López, Comisionada de Seguridad

Operaciones del C4

General Hidalgo Eddy, y Sophia Huett

By Jesús Aguado

The long-promised  Center for Command, Control, Computing, and Communication, commonly known as the C4, opened April 23 in the city.

The security complex now will watch the city with 192 cameras powerful enough to identify not only people´s faces but also read vehicle license plates from a considerable distance.

When Atención visited the C4, we were shown a crisis room, which controls the surveillance cameras. San Miguel de Allende’s Secretary of Safety General Rolando Eugenio Hidalgo Eddy also can control the cameras from his office. The crisis room is also a place where the city’s Safety Council can meet in an emergency situation to make decisions.

A total of 30 monitors, along with a master screen, tracks all the cameras’ images. Our reporter was shown how cameras can perform extreme close-ups that allow clear viewing even inside people’s vehicles. When the cameras capture a suspicious or concerning image, the C4 immediately dispatches a patrol car or motorcycle to the scene, Hidalgo Eddy said.

“In San Miguel, as in other states or countries, we are not exempt from anything,” he said when questioned about the safety status in San Miguel. “Wherever there is society, there is crime. But we are working to prevent it. We have reduced the number of house robberies and vehicle thefts, and we have arrested key people in the world of the hampa—state crimes. Those who say that San Miguel is not safe are those provoking less tourism.”

Hidalgo Eddy also mentioned that there are currently six 911 operators taking calls and that at least one per shift is bilingual—speaking Spanish and English.

He pointed out that he lives full-time in San Miguel and thus is motivated to work 24/7 for a place where locals and visitors feel safe. He made it clear that he will not get into disputes with those who say that there is not enough safety in San Miguel.

“We are performing our work,” he said.

The construction of the C4 was funded with federal, state, and local resources. The center’s total infrastructure and technology cost was almost 33 million pesos.

On April 23, the day of the Center for Command, Control, Computing, and Communication (C4)’s opening, Guanajuato Governor Diego Sinhue Rodríguez Vallejo announced that he is working with mayor Luis Alberto Villarreal to bring a militarized preparatory school to town, one where students would begin classes at 7am and leave at 6pm, staying on campus all day for breakfast and lunch breaks. This model—already operating in Guanajuato and several other states of the country as an attempt to reduce the influence criminals have on youth—will prepare better young citizens, said the governor, as well as provide them with an official military ID card that in the future would permit them to carry a gun.

The governor also mentioned the introduction of the State Touristic Police, which has already been patrolling San Miguel, and of the Rural Police, which focuses on preventing livestock theft in agricultural areas.

San Miguel not on the list of unsafe cities

Guanajuato Safety Commissioner Sophia Huett López, who attended the ribbon-cutting ceremony for the C4, told Atención that despite a Golpe de Timon report citing Guanajuato as the most violent state in México, “we should all understand the topic of Gunajuato. The geographic distance could lead people to believe that the entire state is in flames,” she said.

She said her office has “explained” the crime situation in Guanajuato to the media many times, but nevertheless, the media sensationalized things.

“There were just two vehicles that those criminals set on fire with two bottles of alcohol and a match; they know they can make the news with that,” she said. “What we see in San Miguel are minor crimes like house or business robberies, nothing extraordinarily higher than in the rest of the country, The numbers are low. This city has maintained its conditions of safety and is going along on a good path.”

When asked if San Miguel was a safe place, Huett López cited other cities as having bigger crime problems.

“The cities with a concentrated number of homicides are Yuriria, Salva Tierra, Apaseo, Celaya, and Salamanca,” Huett López said. “It will help someone who does not live in the state or in the country to have a more tranquil trip if they know that those cities are not touristic and are situated south of Guanajuato.”

As we go to press, a man was killed in colonia Santa Cecilia.


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