The professionalization of the municipal police force is the principal goal Chapala Public Security Director Adán Domínguez León.
To that end he is determined to bring in new blood and promote academic preparation.
“It is not how many patrols we have, nor the number or caliber of weaponry we acquire. The most important factor for the institution is the human resources we count on. And if this human element is committed and firm in a conviction to a work ethic, then everything will function as it should,” the police commander declared this week during a salute to veteran officers and new recruits who recently completed basic training as police cadets.
During the November 6 ceremony held in the Soriana parking lot, Domínguez handed out graduation certificates to 40 men and women who make up Chapala’s first generation of career officers. He labeled the troops as seeds for the future cultivation of a fully professional police corps.
He proceeded to swear in 18 members of the police force who have qualified for promotion to first-, second- and third-tier officers.
The commander also referred to a significant depuration of the police force, noting that 40 percent of the officers listed on the payroll at the beginning of the current administration have been dismissed or voluntarily resigned under his watch. They have been replaced by younger and better educated recruits who meet strict confidence standards, he said.
Domínguez recognizes that offering decent salaries is key to attracting more qualified personnel. Thanks to a federal subsidy, he has managed to bump up the base salary for line officers from an average of 6,000 pesos per month to 9,200 pesos for 2017, anticipating the figure will go up to at least 10,000 pesos next year. For higher ranked officers, the monthly pay scale currently ranges from 11,000 to 14,000 pesos.
While acknowledging that the community is not crime free, the police chief proudly points to a steady decline in the most heinous modes of criminal activity. However, he considers public perception of local security issues a hurdle that is yet to be surpassed. He implored the officers under his command to do their part to instill a greater sense of trust and confidence in the police among the citizens they serve.