Thursday, November 24, 2011
U.S. FBI, DEA agents help with screening new cop applications in Juárez
Juárez is trying to build up its police force, which has been decimated by executions, defections to the cartels and officers who have simply fled the city out of terror. The hiring and maintaining of "clean" cops who have no known connections to organized crime and who can be trusted is a real challenge.
Over 1,500 people, including about 270 women, have applied for jobs with the municipal police force. So far, only 74 have passed all of the detailed background checks that every applicant must undergo. As part of the 2007 Mérida Initiative, agents from the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration are helping Mexican authorities perform the criminal history and background checks.
Under a Calderón administration plan, half a million municipal and state police officers are to be polygraphed in an effort to eliminate corruption in local security forces. Only about 10% of the tests have been completed. Weeding out corrupt cops a daunting task.
A new police officer in Juárez earns 4,000 pesos per month, or about $300 USD gross, pretax pay at the current exchange rate. That's about the national average in Mexico.
at 3:34 PM