Beginning Sept. 1, 80 police officers will be patrolling downtown San José to provide protection for tourists in the heart of the city, for people on their way home from work, or for those who want to do errands or enjoy a little of the city’s nightlife.
In effect Monday to Thursday from 5 to 10 p.m. and during extended weekend hours, the policing measure is part of “San José, Security and Leisure,” a joint program of the Public Security Ministry, the Culture Ministry and the San José Municipality.
The program will focus on the area between Calles 2 and 23, from Avenidas 2 to 10 on the south side of the city and Avenidas 9 to 15 on the north side. Tourists sitting on the balconies of their hotels or out around the Plaza de la Cultura and nearby casinos, as well as those in the area of the refurbished La Aduana arts complex, will have late-night protection on weekends stretching from 5 p.m. to midnight Fridays, 9 a.m. to midnight Saturdays, and 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sundays.
In the various parks dotting downtown, the Culture Ministry will launch a series of activities starting Sept. 15; specifics were not available at press time.
Enrique Arguedas, head of plans and operations for the National Police and special representative for the Public Security Ministry, said in a telephone interview that the added protection is being made possible by the addition to the police force of recently graduated officers, who will enable the ministry to beef up protection in the downtown area without cutting back elsewhere.
According to Arguedas, the project will be in effect at least until the end of the year.
“We review projects each week and each month to see the numbers of arrests,” Arguedas said. “Parallel to this, there will be other new actions in the peripheral zones of San José to support safety in the city; those are still under discussion.