First Baja Metropolitan Tourist Police Launched In Rosarito Beach Ceremony

Published 12 April 10 01:00 PM

A new metropolitan tourist police force to serve visitors along the 70-mile tourist corridor from Tijuana to Ensenada was launched Wednesday in a Rosarito ceremony.

Leading state and city officials as well as members of the new force took part in the ceremony in a tented area along the coastal scenic road from Tijuana to Ensenada.

"Today, the Metropolitan Police will begin working between the three cities to better assist our visitors and bring them additional peace of mind," said Hugo Torres, the mayor of Rosarito Beach and a leader in the effort to form the special force.

Rosarito established its own 30-member Tourist Police Force in 2008.

Torres said that crime in Baja was down last year --- 10 percent overall and 21 percent in Rosarito, a five-year low--- but  scattered violence in Mexico as authorities crack down on drug cartels has made many people, including Southern Californians, concerned.

Also attending the Wednesday ceremony were Baja State Public Safety Secretary Daniel de la Rosa; Secretary of State Tourism Oscar Escobedo; Ensenada Mayor Pablo Alejo; and Tijuana deputy police chief Julian Dominguez.

The Metropolitan Tourist Police, in conjunction with other police agencies that also patrol the area, will have working with visitors as its main responsibility, De La Rosa said.

The officers will be in vehicles marked Policia Turistica Metropolitana. Each vehicle also will carry the insignia of the city force which the officer represents. Fourteen officers, men and women, were at Wednesday’s ceremony.

Baja Metropolitan Tourist Police officers received special training from San Diego police under an agreement between Baja mayors and San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders.

“We’ve always prided ourselves on our working relationship with our friends to the south,” Sanders said last year when that agreement was signed, adding that the economies of the two regions are closely tied and both benefit from binational tourism.

“What’s good for Rosarito and Tijuana and Ensenada is good for San Diego,” Sanders said.

Torres said that because San Diego is such a popular tourist destination, it is especially expert in dealing with visitors. He thanked Sanders for his city’s support and assistance.

  “It is extremely generous of Mayor Sanders and the fine officers who assisted us,” he said.


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