Administration planning to double number of tourist police

Passers-by cannot miss the doves, which are well over six feet tall, not counting the globe on which they rest. They will be placed at strategic locations all around the downtown.

The Chinchilla administration will be doubling the number of tourist police from 312 to about 600, thanks to 300 million colons promised by the Instituto Costarricense de Turismo for the next four years. That’s about $600,000.

The agreement was signed Wednesday by Allan Flores, tourism minister, and Mario Zamora, the minister of Gobernación, Policía y Seguridad Pública.

Since 2006, the tourism institute has invested 223 million
colons in the Policía de Turismo, officials said. That’s about $446,000.

Zamora said that the special police force has been able to reduce by 40 percent crimes reported by tourists. Tourism police are trained as Fuerza Pública officers, but they have special emphases on identification of forged documents and other aspects of law enforcement related to their main job. Many also are trained to speak English.

The force has nearly 100 bicycles that are in daily use in areas with high concentrations of tourists.

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