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Tamarindo police avoid eviction

Following months of uncertainty, the police in the northern Pacific Costa Rican town of Tamarindo can now be certain of one thing — they won’t be evicted from their station.

Officials of the Santa Cruz Municipality, in the northwestern Guanacaste province, signed an agreement with the Public Security Ministry to pay the rent for the current station — located at the edge of Tamarindo in the privately owned Cabinas Maleko — through December 2009.

The municipality, which is in charge of collecting taxes cin Tamarindo, has never funded the police station. The station, instead, has relied on private donations to meet the $1,500 per month rent at Cabinas Maleko.

The impact of the economic crisis this year caused a drop in donations, and officials worried that police would have to move the station to the nearby hamlet of Villareal, a move that was forced in 2007 due to a lack of funding. After two months, the police moved back to the edge of Tamarindo when they noticed a spike in crime.

“Villareal is too far away,” said Diego Chavarría, a Tamarindo police officer, who reasoned that the closer the police are to the area’s downtown, the better the service they can provide (TT, March 27).

Tamarindo community organizations are working with developers to build a permanent station for the police on a 1,800-square-meter lot that a private developer donated to the community in 2007.

Officials have said they hope to have the new location prepared before early next year.

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