Weapons are left out of legislation that strengthens municipal guards

This Tuesday, at the Palacio de La Moneda, a group of mayors representing three associations of municipalities met with the Undersecretary of the Interior, Manuel Monsalve, with the aim of discussing the progress in terms of bills on citizen security and resuming the advanced work on the security table. Among the important issues discussed at the meeting were granting greater powers to municipal inspectors and increasing resources for municipal security work. All these initiatives are contemplated in the Government’s security agenda, but they do not have a defined term to start their processing.

At the end of the meeting, the mayoress of Peñalolén and president of the Chilean Association of Municipalities (ACHM), Carolina Leitao, declared that they expect the prompt entry of this project to Parliament, so that it forms part of the security agenda that the political class seeks. accelerate and of which the municipalities form an important part. “At the municipal level we have a concern that is transversal. Regarding the issue of security, we have many points in common and what we want with this project is to promote, precisely, the points on which we agree,” said the communal head of Penalolén.

The most delicate issue on this municipal agenda is the use of firearms by municipal security guards, but it would not be considered in this bill, which is mainly intended to reinforce the preventive work and combat crime carried out by the police. In fact, on January 9, the Association of Municipalities of Chile (AMUCH) – which brings together 95 municipalities – sent a proposal to the Government, with a view to municipal security teams being more prepared to deal with crimes. These were two initiatives aimed at strengthening and perfecting the security powers they have, through modifications to Law 18,883 on the Administrative Statute for Municipal Officials and changes to the Constitutional Organic Law of Municipalities.

But, despite the insistence of some mayors, from the Government they ruled out the possibility that municipal officials carry defense elements and have a greater participation in security work. Today, three months after the AMUCH request, the issue of weapons seems to be a debate that generates disagreement and constitutes a demand that has lost strength within the organization. Its own president, the mayor of Zapallar, Gustavo Alessandri, acknowledged that his proposals do not contemplate that municipal inspectors handle firearms, contradicting what was stated in the official letter sent earlier this year, and whose rejection by the Executive caused annoyance in the association.

Alessandri, as part of AMUCH, pointed out that they are seeking to promote the initiative with the municipal bench of deputies, “which are in line with strengthening citizen security teams by providing technical equipment; empowering the use of means of protection against the possible illegitimate aggression caused to municipal teams that fulfill security functions and the definition of protocols for coordination and action with the police.These proposals do not contemplate that the inspectors use firearms, since their role is to support and prevent citizens, they do not of order and security, which corresponds to Carabineros”.

For her part, from the ACHM, its president, Carolina Leitao, stated that there are different positions within the association she presides over, regarding the benefits and drawbacks of arming municipal security and surveillance personnel. These municipal security teams exist in a minority of the country’s municipalities. “In my opinion, this would be a measure with which there are high risks. Handling a weapon requires levels of training, preparation and training, in addition to a clear action protocol; all areas that the country’s police handle today. Therefore , and although there are dissimilar positions, the majority of mayors agree that this would be a risk, rather than an adequate response to the crime that we have to face in the country,” Leitao emphasized.

The emphatic position of the Government

On Thursday, January 26, the AMUCH board received the response from the Ministry of the Interior to its requirements, and it was willing to move forward only in some aspects, which caused discomfort among some community leaders. And it is that from the Executive they made it clear that they are not willing “to support that the preventive agents of municipal security carry and use means of defense”, but to analyze the classification of an aggravated crime to the aggression against inspectors or municipal security officials who wear visible identification.

Likewise, they agreed that officials can coordinate security actions with the competent authority, collaboratively manage the actions of the Communal Public Security Council; receive complaints and channel them to the competent authority; and channel the requirements so that they are received periodically from the neighborhood associations, rural surveillance boards and community organizations.

In this regard, the Undersecretary for Crime Prevention, Eduardo Vergara, was of one line in the debate over the powers of municipal guards and the possible use of firearms. “I want to be very clear: as a government we are not going to advance that municipal personnel are armed. We are not in favor of having a municipal police force. The evidence shows that it was a mistake in other countries and we will not replicate that mistake,” the undersecretary stressed.

According to Vergara, its objective is to strengthen the preventive role of municipalities in two areas. “First of all, the preventive common minimum: we put an end to the competition for funds to advance in leveling the playing field, maximize the role of the State in security. In addition, we increased the budget for municipalities by 65%. With effective actions we are helping the mayors, which is the gateway for citizens in their relationship with the State”, stated the undersecretary.

Finally, Eduardo Vergara added that “it is very necessary to strengthen the preventive role of the municipalities through the bill that we will soon send to Congress and that has broad support from the three associations of mayors with whom we met last Tuesday in La Moneda, to give you details of this legal initiative. The project seeks to strengthen the role of municipalities in the tasks of Public Safety and Crime Prevention. For this, a new institutional framework is created in the matter, strengthening mixed patrols, strengthening the inspector of municipal security, incorporating greater coordination between the actors of the security system, which come to complement and enrich the Council and Communal Plan of Public Security, and it is provided that the territorial planning instruments include security approaches, ”he explained.

Follow us on

The Google News Desk

Source link

Previous Story

BetPlay League: Tolima drew 1-1 with Millonarios in Ibagué

Next Story

Pataxó People’s Crisis Office is extended for another 45 days

Latest from Chile