Swearing in new officers is first function at new facility

New police officers listen to President Laura Chinchilla as she tells them that their profession has never been so important. Photo: Ministerio de Gobernación, Policía y Seguridad Pública

Some 222 new members of the Fuerza Pública took their oath of office Monday in the new police building in Heredia.

President Laura Chinchilla used the occasion to deliver a 1,450-word speech that touched on citizen security and even the expected verdict by the International Court of Justice over the Nicaraguan invasion in northern Costa Rica.

The new police building is 1,200 square meters in La Aurora. That is nearly 13,000 square feet. It has two floors, parking, storage facilities, administrative offices, meeting rooms, dormitories, baths and an elevator. The structure cost 620 million colons about $1.25 million at the current rate of exchange.

Most of what Ms. Chinchilla said she has said before. But
the length of the speech was unusual. She told the officers that never in the history of the country has their profession been so important. She said the new structure demonstrated the respect for the Fuerza Pública.

The president said she was calling on the international community to observe the fulfillment of the decision by the international court. Costa Rican officials fully expect the court to rule in their favor.

She also said that she was sending more officers north to guard the border.

However, she added that a doctrine that promotes the observance of democratic and social justice principals is the first line of defense.

The Chinchilla administration seeks to put 4,000 more officers on the streets. Officials have hired about 1,000.

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