For years the standard joke about downtown San José is that the police vanish with the setting sun.
That may not be totally accurate, but the intersection of Avenida 1 and Calle 9 did not usually have the police presence that provided the security North American tourists needed. The intersection is the center of nocturnal activity in San José and has three casinos, five bars and a dance club within a half block.
There was no shortage of police Friday night. They were there by the carload to conduct what they call an operation on the sidewalks. This is where tourists are confronted by
individuals purported selling cigars. But some sell much stronger products, and there always is the threat of a street crime.
All the police were Fuerza Pública, and they slowed traffic down and questioned and searched passersby.
The notorious street venders had vanished.
It did not appear that police entered any of the establishments or did they seem interested in persons leaving them.
A full account of the weekend activities probably will be announced today.