Police guard path of visitors to children’s museum

A.M. Costa Rica/Andrew Rulseh Kasper Municipal police watch over citizens headed to the children's museum.

For big events around San José, law enforcement officers are taking the saturation approach to public safety, patrolling the crowded streets equipped with body armor, guns and batons.

At the Museo de los Niños light show in north San José Wednesday night, squadrons of police, including municipal, national and tourist, set up control points and walked through the swarms of people headed north on Calle 4 to the event. The path to the event, geared toward kids and their families, passes through a less-than-secure section of town.

But Wednesday night’s display of police prevalence was just one of many to be carried out through the month of December. Operation Aguinaldo, as it was dubbed by the Ministerio de Seguridad Pública, redoubled the presence of Fuerza Pública officers in the downtown area for the season, with the mission of protecting the Christmas bonuses of Ticos out shopping.

A.M. Costa Rica/Andrew Rulseh Kasper Pedestrians pass through a police checkpoint

And for the Festival de la Luz Saturday the strategy will be no different. Freddy Guillén Varela, chief of the planning and operations department for the Ministerio de Gobernación, Policía y Seguridad Pública, said the agency plans to field 1,000 officers for the event, which is expected to attract more than one million spectators to San José.

“We’re trying to limit crime so the people can enjoy a festival as pretty as this,” he said.

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