Amid the carnage that has made Acapulco the murder capital of the world, one enterprising police chief believes he has found the solution to tourism woes: a brigade of attractive young women between the ages of 18 and 28 that will now “assist tourists across busy roads, patrolling the beachfront and detaining criminals while the arresting authorities arrive.”
Here are my favorite parts of this unbelievably sexist program:
a. “The unit starts its day at 7am at the western end of the bay, where after half an hour of applying their mandatory make-up, complete with pre-approved shades of bright-pink lipstick, the brigade it inspected by the municipal force’s senior officers.
b. “‘But it’s not sexist’, he [the police chief] insists, ‘we have fat chicks too’.”
c. “‘We focused on their physical fitness training in the swimming pool’”, a sentence uttered by … you guessed it, the least PC Police chief ever.
Given all this, I was surprised that brigade members weren’t dressed like Hooters waitresses. Here’s a photo of the daily inspection:
Blogging by Boz has an interesting post about rooting out corruption in the Mexican police force. He notes that the government had set a goal to vet all of the police in the country but so far has only vetted 75% of the force. I’m not sure when this goal was originally set, because 75% actually seems quite high to what I would expect. There have been inevitable delays and some unfortunate unintended consequences. Here are a few that Boz lists:
1. “Can they define “corruption”? There is a difference between a cop who takes bribes to let drivers out of traffic tickets and a cop who takes bribes to ignore extortion by cartels. The tests have allegedly been far better at finding the former than the latter.
2. Fired police have been recruited by criminal groups. In one particularly awful example in Jalisco, a fired police officer was working as a sicario for a cartel killing other police officers less than two weeks after he was removed from duty. If firing police simply increases the ranks and skills of criminal groups in certain states, that’s not a good policy. These fired officers need an opportunity and training to obtain an honest job.
3. Continued corruption. Even after these tests have taken place, there have been incidents of police who passed the tests working for criminal groups, sometimes in the role of kidnappers. That has harmed the population’s confidence in the testing process.”
Boz concludes by making the excellent argument that vetting is (1) hard to scale effectively; and (2) something that must be done continuously and not just a one-time deal.