Sep 3, 2008

Juarez police cartel will take a hit after 400-plus flunked confidence exams

Reprinted from the El Paso Times

El Paso Times
Sept. 3, 2008
Juárez to fire 400 police officers
By Dan Borunda


EL PASO -More than 400 members of the Juárez police department will be dismissed after failing confidence exams done by the Mexico federal Public Safety secretary's office, Juárez Mayor Jose Reyes Ferriz said.
About 2,000 soldiers arrived in Juárez over the weekend and are expected to begin anti-crime patrols as part of Operation Juárez, the new name of Joint Operation Chihuahua, the local federal offensive against organized crime.
"It's important that citizens know the Mexican army will be doing patrols throughout the city to stop the collateral crimes generated as a result of Joint Operation Chihuahua," Reyes Ferriz said. The city police department has offered the military 65 vehicles for the patrols.
The city has recruited about 900 new officers in recent months as authorities have been unable to stop a crime wave this year, including more than 900 homicides, more than 50 bank robberies, a jump in auto thefts and other crimes.
Officials said the confidence exams by federal authorities found that some Juárez officers had criminal histories in other states. Some had been fired from other agencies.
Other officers were found to have been bribed or had ties to organized crime.
Reyes Ferriz said that federal public safety officials made a registry of fingerprints, DNA samples, voice and iris scans of the officers tested to allow federal authorities to track their future activities.

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Note: Other sources said the number of officers dismissed could be as high as 500. - Kelly McKenzie