Police Blotter: News From Mexico City

by Julie Schwietert Jun 28, 2008

Every week is a big news week as far as the police of Mexico City are concerned, and the MCPD’s PR folks clearly have their jobs cut out for them.

Just yesterday, the local news reported that rates of assassinations of police officers had increased significantly since President Felipe Calderon instituted a crackdown on narcotrafficking and general delinquency.

More than 500 officers have reportedly lost their lives during this campaign, including an inspector general and his bodyguard who were killed this past Thursday.

Police in Mexico City are also being criticized this week for a nighclub surveillance operation that went terribly wrong, resulting in the deaths of 12 people, including several teenagers as young as 13. The police, who converged upon the News Divine Nightclub in their ongoing effort to crackdown on clubs that allow minors to buy and consume alcohol, made tactical errors that resulted in a stampede, killing three officers and nine teens, injuring 13 others.

But perhaps the strangest news of all from this week’s police blotter is the English language paper’s report that police in the State of Mexico are now being required to read at least one book a month. Police officers in certain precincts will even be given one hour out of their shift “to read classics such as The Count of Monte Cristo… and Treasure Island.

According to local officials interviewed for the article, the compulsory reading program is expected to “produce better police officers” because “more educated, literate officers [are more likely to be] capable of dealing with their routine activities with thoughtfulness and sensitivity towards those they serve.”

While the idea sounds nice on paper, it’s worth watching this initiative to see how successful it is.

What’s the strangest police news you’ve heard? Share your stories in the comments below.

Photo: Julie Schwietert Collazo

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